If your baby has plagiocephaly or “flat-head syndrome,” a common condition characterized by a flat spot on the back or side of a baby’s head, your pediatrician may recommend an orthotic helmet to correct the cranial asymmetry and promote a more rounded head shape.
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.
Many babies have a flattened area of the back or side of their head. This flattening or cranial asymmetry is called plagiocephaly or “flat head syndrome.” It 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 is very common, occurring in about half of all infants.
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.
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.