Flat Head Syndrome - 7 Tips for Keeping your Baby Cool in Summer
Many parents of children with plagiocephaly worry about their baby overheating in a cranial moulding helmet, particularly while on holiday or during unusually hot British weather so plagiocephaly clinician Sally has compiled a list of her top tips for keeping your baby cool in their LOCband this summer.
1. Cool layers of clothes
It’s important to choose single, cool layers of clothing, and socks off where possible, to compensate for the extra heat. Keep nightwear to a minimum and use thinner blankets or lower tog duvets during the summer months to help babies stay comfortable.
2. Use sun cream on exposed parts of your baby’s head
It’s best to keep your baby out of the sun as much as possible, or staying in well-shaded areas, but when you do catch some rays remember that there are holes in the LOCband helmet, so it's good to use a high factor sun cream and ensure that you get the parts of their face around the helmet.
3. Take a dip in a paddling pool
Another way to keep your baby cool is by getting the paddling pool out. You can take the LOCband off for a quick dip and put it back on once your baby’s head is fully dry. Keep the pool in the shade during hot weather, supervise at all times.
4. Remove the LOCband if necessary
It’s best to stick to the 22 hours a day routine wherever possible, but if you’re worried that your baby is getting too hot during the warmer hours of the day, between 11am and 3pm, then take it off to allow them to cool down for a bit.
5. Run a cool bath before bed
On a hot day, you can run a quick bath with cool water before your child goes to sleep. Remove the LOCband while they’re in the bath and then put it back on once your baby’s head is dry. This will leave them feeling fresh and allow them to have a better sleep during humid, hot weather at night time.
6. Invest in a nursery thermometer
The optimum temperature for a baby’s room is between 16°C and 20°C. Getting a nursery thermometer can help you monitor the temperature of the room easily, allowing your baby to stay cool.
7. Breast milk Ice lollies
If you’re still breastfeeding, it can be quite hot and bothersome when feeding in the heat, so a great alternative is making breast-milk ice lollies to keep your baby cool and hydrated.
Cleaning your LOCband
If your baby is getting very sweaty then it’s absolutely fine to remove the band for 10 minutes to give your baby a brief break. You can minimise unpleasant odours, itching and skin irritation by giving your baby’s helmet a clean once or twice a day with an LOC cleaning wipe. After you’ve wiped the helmet down, it’s essential to leave the band to dry thoroughly before placing it back on your baby’s head.
We have recently swapped from cleaning solution to IPA disinfectant wipes, which seem to be popular for LOCband helmets. At LOC, we use a Klenz machine at each review appointment to remove the odour of sweat from the band.
You can read the NHS guidelines on <arel="nofollow" href="http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1955.aspx" target="_blank">keeping babies safe during hot weather or get in contact with your clinician if you have any concerns.
The London Orthotic Consultancy (LOC) has more than a decade of experience in treating babies with positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. If you’re worried that your baby has an uneven head shape, you can upload photos to our flat head diagnosis form and one of our consultants will be in touch.