If your child has plagiocephaly, also known as “flat head syndrome,” you might be wondering if a cranial helmet, or cranial remolding orthosis (CRO), will be an effective treatment. The answer is, it depends on several things, one of which is the age of the child at the time of treatment.
Learn more about plagiocephaly (flat-head syndrome), including parent questions and concerns about plagiocephaly, treatment options, clinician profiles, and success stories from using a cranial orthosis for plagiocephaly.
When Hadley was born this past March, his mom Melaina Barry says his head was almost cone-shaped — a condition known as brachycephaly. “He spent quite a lot of time in the birth canal and was delivered with forceps as well, so his head was like a cone at the top.”
Plagiocephaly, or “flat-head syndrome,” is a relatively common condition characterized by a flat spot on the back or side of a baby’s head. Plagiocephaly can be caused when the baby’s head frequently rests in the same position on everyday surfaces such as a mattress or car seat, or it can even happen in the womb. It can develop in as little as one week and is present to some degree in nearly half of infants.
Shortly after Bennett Hirsh was born she was diagnosed with plagiocephaly — flat head syndrome — commonly associated with torticollis. Babies with torticollis have a hard time turning their heads because of their tight neck muscles. When they lie down, they tend to keep their heads in the same position. Since the bones of the skull are soft and have not fused yet, this can cause flattening.
At 9 months old, Annemarie Rose Lowe Erato is already realizing her superpowers. She takes after her mother, Lindsay, who amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, underwent a relentless pursuit to find helmet therapy for her daughter’s plagiocephaly.
Steve Slawinski is a Certified Orthotist and Clinic Director of the Boston O&P of Voorhees. In this Q&A, Steve shares how he was introduced to the O&P profession, how things have changed over the years, and some tips about cranial deformities that he uses to provide better care to patients.
Levi Merry is what his mom, Rebecca, calls “a little ham.” “The kid has had so many photos taken from the moment he was born, yet he’s always smiling,” — smiling despite everything the 9-month-old has been through.
Mary Ott knows a good head (of hair) when she sees one—she’s a hairstylist, after all. Yet, when she visited the pediatrician for her son Sam’s five-month checkup, she was shocked to learn he might have flat head syndrome.
“I didn't really think it was that serious,” says Mary. "I noticed it a little but thought, oh, he’ll be fine. He’ll grow out of it. But the pediatrician insisted I get it checked.”