Cranial Remolding Helmets for Babies
Are you worried that your baby’s head doesn’t seem to be developing properly? At Applied Biomechanics, we fabricate custom cranial molding helmets for babies to treat a wide range of conditions, such as plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and more.
If you’ve been constantly checking and feeling your baby’s head, asking other parents for their thoughts, and you’re beginning to think that there may be an issue with their head shape or development — we can help.
When you’re looking into other people’s opinions, you’re probably hearing a lot of conflicting advice.
For complete peace of mind, get the answers you’re looking for from a licenced professional. Applied Biomechanics offers a non-invasive 3D optical head scan that is cross-compared against norms for your child’s age and sex.
In this way, we can pick up on any significant deviations, and if needed, can design and fit a cranial moulding helmet for your child.
Applied Biomechanics is Wellington County’s Cranial Helmet specialist orthotic clinic making an objective diagnosis of your baby’s condition and creating custom baby head shape helmets to ensure proper cranial development.
The Uses of Cranial Shaping Helmets
Cranial shaping helmets are used to treat flat head syndrome and a variety of other minor cranial deformities in infants, such as:
Your baby’s head is flattened on one side and may look asymmetrical when you look at your child face-to-face or from above. Plagiocephaly affects about 1 in 4 infants, but it can also be present in older children with facial asymmetry. Plagiocephaly treatment depends on the severity of your child’s condition. Using a specially-designed helmet may help flatten your child’s skull and could be part of an overall plan for treating plagiocephaly.
The back of your baby’s head is flattened, which can cause the head to widen, and may result in your child’s forehead bulging. Brachycephaly can cause problems with eating, hearing and speech.
The first three months of a baby’s life are crucial to the formation of the skull and facial bones. Up to this point, the head is still very pliable and can easily change shape as a baby moves it around during feeding, playing and sleeping. When your child is awake, please encourage them to spend time on their tummy so that the back of their head will not be pressed against one.
The child’s head is elongated and narrow from the forehead to the back of the skull. This condition requires monitoring and may lead to surgery with a cranial specialist.
Scaphocephaly can be treated by changing how the bones grow, but this should only be done before the child turns one year of age. Scaphocephaly results from an early fusion in the growth plates in their skull, often around three to six months old, which leads to a very distinct head shape with an elongated skull.
The infant’s skull plates fuse prematurely, causing Scaphocephaly that requires surgical intervention. Providing your child with a head-shaping helmet can help postoperative care and recovery.
What Causes Cranial Deformities?
It is common for babies to develop minor cranial deformities between 3 and 18 months. Babies’ skulls are quite soft and can easily change shape with repeated pressure in one location without causing any harm to them. These deformities may be caused by a range of factors, such as:
- Too much time is spent lying on the back, which may cause the back of the head to flatten, either on one side or across the entire head.
- Narrow space in the womb may be caused by twins taking up additional space in the womb or low levels of amniotic fluid.
- Premature birth may cause skull changes as the head will be compressed during birth when it is not quite as developed.
- A congenital condition is known as craniosynostosis which can cause the bones of a baby’s head to join together prematurely. This can be a serious condition and must be treated by surgery.
Except for craniosynostosis, most cases of cranial deformity will resolve themselves over time and have no impact on a child’s development. Cranial shaping helmets offer an excellent treatment option for your child.
What is a cranial remolding orthosis?
A cranial remolding orthosis, more commonly referred to as a cranial helmet, is an orthotic device that can be worn on a baby’s head to help correct cases of plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and other head deformities.
Cranial moulding helmets are custom fabricated from a laser scan of a child’s head. The helmets are made from plastic shells with a foam liner and are available in a range of styles, including bi-valve overlapping helmet designs and headbands with top and side openings.
There are no negative side effects to wearing a cranial remolding helmet and you will only need a single helmet to correct your child’s condition.
How Does Rehab With A Cranial Helmet Work?
The helmet works by applying consistent, gentle pressure to inhibit further growth of prominent areas of the skull while allowing for growth and expansion in areas that are flattened.
Our helmets are precision-made with a hard outer shell and soft lining for maximum comfort.
At Applied Biomechanics we take care of the whole rehab process, from cranial scanning to the construction and fitting of your baby’s head shaping helmet.
How Long Does It Take?
We assess your baby’s progress over a period of 3-4 months, after which time we typically see improvements in head shape and are therefore able to remove the helmet.
How Many Hours a Day Does the Baby Wear the Helmet?
Your baby wears the remolding helmet for around 23 hours a day.
The only time you remove the helmet is during and after a bath, as it’s important to keep it dry.