WHAT IS PLAGIOCEPHALY
Plagiocephaly which stands for “oblique head” in Greek (plagio = oblique / cephale = head) is the deformation of the skull as a result of extrinsic forces acting on an intrinsically normal skull (BC Children’s Hospital, 2008). The greatest amount of deformation often occurs in the first 3 months of life when the skull is at its softest, most malleable and when the infant is spending the majority of its time lying on his/her back (BC Children’s Hospital).Infants can also develop skull flattening in the prenatal period due to their position in utero (BC Children’s Hospital). Other types of skull deformities which can occur to infants include; Brachycephaly which means “short head” in Latin (brachy = short / cephaly = head) and Dolichocephalywhich means “long head” in Greek (dolicho = long / cephale = head).
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE
MANAGEMENT FOR PLAGIOCEPHALY / BRACHYCEPHALY
Initial conservative management of Plagiocephaly/Brachycephaly often begins with physical therapy (often through the guidance of paediatric physiotherapist) where repositioning techniques are taught to parents in order to avoid their child from leaning into his/her flattened side (Action Ortho, 2015). Physiotherapist will often also provide stretching or strengthening exercises to their patients if they deem it necessary to stretch and/or strengthen weak or tight neck muscles (Action Ortho). If physiotherapy management is deemed insufficient or further management is required, babies suffering with Plagiocephaly/Brachycephaly are often referred on for provision of a cranial remoulding helmet.
CRANIAL REMOULDING HELMET
Cranial remoulding helmets are safe and are designed to help your child obtain a more normalized/symmetrical head shape. This is achieved by the helmet applying strategically directed forces to helppromote growth (JPO 2004; Vol 16, Num 4S, p 28) and to allow the bones of your child’s skull to expand and even out into a more symmetrical shape (BC Children’s Hospital June 2008).
NOTE: Cranial remoulding helmets are safe and are purely designed for cosmetic purposes.
Use of a helmet will not affect your child’s developmental milestones and the decision to
begin helmet therapy is completely up to you as the parent.
DURATION OF TREATMENT
Every baby is different and the duration of their treatment is often dependent on their age, their size, the severity of their condition as well as the level of correction that has been achieved. However as a rough guideline, for babies between the age of 4-7 months (BC Children’s Hospital & Action Ortho), cranial remoulding helmets are typically worn anywhere from 3 to 6 months for 23 hours a day. Older children may require staying in the helmet for a longer period of time as the rate of correction and growth slows down significantly as they get older (Action Ortho).
NOTE: Research indicates that cranial remoulding helmets are most
effective when treatment on the child begins at a younger age.
Our Protective Helmets are designed to absorb some of the shock or impact
so as to limit injury to the head.
All of our components are sourced from original manufacturers of equipment for high impact sports such as Ice Hockey, American Football and Motocross. As all of our Helmets are custom made, please feel free to call team to discuss any options or specific requirements not shown in any of our models.
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