An article recently featured in The Eastern Daily Express describes how 7 month year old baby Oscar, who suffers from plagiocephaly or ‘flat head syndrome’, is in need of help as his head has become so pronounced that a helmet is needed to correct his skull.
To have the helmet fitted, the family, from Bowthorpe, will have to go to the London Orthotic Consultancy in Cambridge and are looking to fundraise the money needed. For such a common condition, the NHS offers little support for cases like Oscar’s, where the head is not misshapen enough to require surgery but affected enough to cause his parents to worry about long term deformity.
Repositioning therapy – moving your baby around continually so that he/she does not rest their head on the existing flattened area - can be very effective in reducing the characteristic flat head of plagiocephaly.
His grandmother, spoke to The Eastern Daily Express about how difficult it is with another child in the house to focus on repositioning therapy recommended by the doctor “We […] need to keep moving him from side to side, because he will naturally lie on the flat part. [Repositioning] would need to be all day every day, it would be constant, and with his mum having Isla as well it is a challenge.”
For babies like Oscar, helmet therapy is an efficient solution to the problem, his grandmother acknowledges “if he has his helmet they said sometimes it can right itself as quickly as 12 weeks. We haven’t really got the choice of doing nothing at all.”
Up to the age of 18 months a baby’s skull is still relatively soft and can change shape with constant pressure applied to a part of the head. This also means that after the age of 18 months, as the plates of the skull harden, plagiocephaly treatment becomes ineffective, so early action really is crucial. Slight flat head can often be masked by long hair which is a solution for a lot of girls, but for boys who prefer to wear their hair short it can become a concern.
Read the article from the Eastern Daily Express or if you would like to help Oscar’s parents, visit their GoFundMe campaign page. If you are worried about the shape of your own baby’s head, you can use our flat head diagnosis form to securely upload photos of your baby and receive an initial clinical opinion in 24 hours so that you have a better idea of how to proceed. Or you can contact LOC to seek help and advice.
* A baby suffering from congenital plagiocephaly, not representative of baby Oscar's head