What is the orthopedic helmet and how does it help your baby?

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For every family, taking care of their baby is fundamental. With all the joy this new being brings, there are also the responsibilities of its healthy physical and mental development. There are several challenges to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible and that tranquility reigns in the home. Some of the situations that need to be addressed include cranial anomalies that occur during the first months of life.

The most common of these irregularities is known as postural plagiocephaly, which affects 1 in 300 babies. It is easy to detect, and is evidenced by the flattening of the baby’s occiput and although it does not affect the baby’s mind, it does carry the risk of an aesthetic problem that can lead to rejection, affecting the baby’s mental health later in life.

Plagiocephaly is mainly caused by the pressure exerted on a baby’s head by being in the same position for a long time. The good thing is that it can be detected and treated in the first months of life. If by the third month the baby continues to present these abnormalities, it is probably plagiocephaly, which can be treated between that age and the first eighteen months. If the case is not extremely serious and does not involve surgery, the fastest and most effective treatment is the use of a corrective helmet.

Other similar anomalies are brachycephaly and scaphocephaly. The former can be noticed when the baby’s head is flat on the back and symmetrical and wide on the sides. It happens with babies who are not on their stomachs for long enough. The second is a deformity that is evident when the head appears narrow and elongated, flat transversely and elongated at the back. This is recurrent in premature babies.

How are these anomalies diagnosed?

In order to detect any irregular situation with the baby’s skull in time, a cranial index is performed, so that action can be taken. Parents should also be informed about the recommended techniques for repositioning the baby’s head and how to ensure that the baby’s head is not resting on flattened areas. Immediately after the diagnosis and corrective measures in the first instance, the experts recommend the orthopedic helmet. It has been shown that using it early and in the first months will make a simple action have an impact on the long-term life of the baby, making it a very useful tool.

Advantages of the orthopedic helmet

Any strange occurrence involving the baby can be of great concern for the family, but in moments like these, the most important thing is not to worry but to take action to solve the situation. The orthopedic helmet becomes then, and with the recommendation of the specialist, the best tool for the baby’s skull to develop correctly.

They are usually made of a hard outer shell with a foam inner lining. This allows for gentle and persistent pressures to be generated on the skull to enable natural growth, while slowing expansion in prominent areas and facilitating harmonious re-development.

Adjustments are often made as the baby’s head grows. In essence, the helmet provides a narrow, rounded space in which the head can grow. Even if your baby’s head is still resting on one side, the helmet will provide cushioning to prevent the head from continuing to flatten out.

It is designed to correct severe positional deformities, restoring symmetry to the baby’s head and allowing for proper growth. In addition, and it is important to emphasize, this happens in a comfortable way, the helmet is not intrusive to the baby and prevents any setback after using it for the required time.

The result for babies with plagiocephaly is that between 4 and 6 months the head becomes symmetrically rounded until it is completely normal. For brachycephaly, the results become evident after 6 months of using the helmet, and the same happens with babies who suffer from scaphocephaly.

The use of the helmet

According to standards, the baby should wear the helmet 23 hours a day and it should be removed only during bath time. It is important that, throughout their growth process, which includes playing, feeding and resting, the helmet is part of their daily routine. Thanks to the advances in this field, this tool is totally comfortable, and will not interfere when carrying out the aforementioned activities.

While treatment is ongoing, parents should schedule follow-up visits with the specialist depending on the severity of the anomaly. In any case, progress with the orthopedic helmet is expected to be seen over time, although it is advisable to check with the specialist for any necessary adjustments.

Knowing a little more about these anomalies and the available solutions, we can see that orthopedic helmets are a great option when it comes to restoring the baby’s skull to its normal shape, making them a lifelong solution.

When it comes to orthopedic helmets, Alcam counts with an expert team that evaluates the baby and will recommend the use of the helmet if necessary. For more information, go to www.alcammedical.com or visit @alcammedicalop on Instagram.