No precise figures are available about the frequency of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. Since have been told to place their children on their backs to avoid sudden infant death syndrome, the number of position-based head deformations has increased dramatically.
Our experience has yet to reveal any risk associated with helmet therapy. If you come to one of our centres in the first months of your child's life and we recommend treatment, we will be able to guarantee treatment success.
Between month 1 and 3 we recommend preventative measures such as repositioning and physical therapy. Should head deformations be visible after month 4, we recommend bringing your child to see one of our doctors. We are optimistic at being able to correct your baby's head deformation if the child is significantly under the age of 15 months at the start of treatment. The earlier therapy can start, the better.
Please do not worry, children at this age adjust quickly to the helmet. The younger the baby, the more likely they are to accept the helmet. Our doctors fit the helmet precisely to your child's head and your baby will not be impaired in the slightest. In general the helmet will keep your baby a bit warmer, so you simply need to dress them in lighter and cooler clothing.
Each helmet is individually manufactured and fitted to the little patient. The correction of head deformation does not come from "pressing" on the bulging area of the skull but simply by preventing this area from continuing to grow unhindered (no pressure) and redirecting natural growth to the flattened portions. Helmet therapy is thus a fully painless measure to redirect growth. In brief: "Just like cake dough expands into a form, the cranium then grows into the ideal helmet form".
Just take a look at some of the successes with our patients.
Depending on the age of the child and the extent of the asymmetry, treatment will take anywhere between 8 weeks and 8 months. Your child will wear the helmet 23 hours a day during the treatment period. The helmet is only removed for one hour a day for skin care and to clean the helmet. Nevertheless, the helmet can be briefly removed, e.g. when changing clothes. The helmet also poses no hindrance for baby swimming courses. During the course the helmet can simply be removed (the course only takes about 45 minutes a week).
Many health insurance providers will cover the costs for helmet therapy in the event of severe deformities. Some providers are very open to helmet therapy, others are unfortunately less so. Yet others base their decision on the extent and severity of the head deformation. The decisions vary on a case by case basis depending on the relevant health insurance provider. In order to find out whether your health insurance provider will pay for your child's helmet therapy, simply ask your health insurance provider. Simply submit the findings and the cost estimates which you will receive at the end of the initial meeting.
Depending on the cause and extent of the deformity, therapy may be indicated in the first three months. A synostosis usually requires surgical correction; severe position based deformities may require modelling cranial orthosis therapy as from month 4 /5 does not see any independent changes to the shape.
Synostotic deformities can be seen shortly before the birth or right after the birth. Various cranial forms may come from seam ossification. You can find more information here. Should your child have such a head deformity, we recommend consulting a doctor, who will then refer you to a specialist if needed.
They will, within 8 -12 weeks, based on professional experience. Positional deformities are formed after birth and improve by 4-5 months thanks to intracranial (blood) pressure and brain growth. Afterwards, no changes occur in the form without treatment.
Helmet therapy is only effective when the helmet is consistently worn 23 hours a day over the entire therapeutic period, as the cranium grows 24 hours a day and the growth is required in order to get things on the appropriate path. Nevertheless, the helmet can be briefly removed, e.g. when changing clothes. The helmet also poses no hindrance for baby swimming courses. During the course the helmet can simply be removed (the course only takes about 45 minutes a week).
The helmet is made from the plastic material polyethylene (PE), which is also used for implants, artificial heart valves and the surface of prosthetics. The helmet exterior is solid; the interior uses a foam to make the helmet comfortable to wear.
No spontaneous changes in head form can be seen after month 5, as the cranial bones begin to ossify and become harder. As your child will be older than 5 months at the end of therapy, no recurrence is likely. The results from helmet therapy will remain in place for a lifetime.