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Understanding Your Child’s Cranial Remolding Band Usage and Maintenance

Posted on Aug 11, 2023

Is your child about to embark on the journey of using a cranial remolding band, commonly known as a baby helmet for flat head correction? You might be brimming with a multitude of queries and apprehensions. After all, it’s a new avenue both for you and your precious little one, and the sea of information available might seem both overwhelming and perplexing.

This is why we’ve curated this comprehensive guide to demystify the process and alleviate your concerns. As parents, your role is pivotal in your child’s treatment, and a thorough understanding of this therapy can significantly bolster the results. In this blog, we will navigate the intricacies of cranial remolding bands, providing you with a clearer picture of what to anticipate. From dissecting the need for a baby helmet to outlining its maintenance, we’ve got it all covered. Our aim is to equip you with practical tips and solutions, to make the journey smoother and more manageable. Let’s unravel the complexities together and ensure that your child reaps the maximum benefit from their helmet therapy.

Does My Child Need a Helmet for Flat Head Correction?

If your child develops a flat area on their head, a condition known as plagiocephaly, they may benefit from a cranial remolding helmet. These helmets are specially designed and custom-made to fit snugly around your baby’s head. Their primary function is to apply gentle yet consistent pressure on the flattened or elongated regions, encouraging the skull to grow into a more conventional shape.

However, whether your child requires a helmet for flat head correction is a decision best made in consultation with a healthcare professional. Pediatricians or specialists in child development can assess the severity of your child’s flat head and recommend appropriate treatment. They can guide you through the pros and cons of helmet therapy, helping you make an informed choice about your baby’s health and well-being. Hence, before taking any step towards helmet therapy, be sure to seek professional medical advice.

Is the Helmet Therapy Procedure Painful?

Many parents often wonder whether the helmet therapy procedure causes discomfort or pain to their child. Rest assured, helmet therapy is generally a painless procedure. The helmet, while snug, is designed with comfort in mind, so it shouldn’t cause any pain or significant discomfort. It’s customized for your baby’s head shape, ensuring it fits comfortably while also serving its therapeutic purpose. The snug fit isn’t restrictive or tight; instead, it’s just secure enough to guide your baby’s natural skull growth gently and safely.

Children’s skulls at a young age are remarkably malleable. This characteristic is precisely what allows helmet therapy to work. The helmet acts as a mold, gently directing the skull’s natural growth towards a more balanced and proportional shape. It’s a non-invasive approach that utilizes the skull’s natural growth process rather than forcing change, making it a painless, passive treatment. Over time, this gradual redirection can significantly correct the shape of your baby’s head without causing them any distress or discomfort.

What is the Frequency of Appointments for Helmet Therapy?

During the initial stages of helmet therapy, frequent follow-up appointments with the orthodontist are imperative to ensure a smooth, effective treatment process. These appointments are typically scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to monitor your baby’s progress closely. The main objective during these meetings is to verify that the helmet is fitting correctly on your baby’s head, providing the desired gentle pressure on the flat areas and allowing room for growth in the protruding sections. Necessary adjustments are made to the helmet during these visits, accounting for your baby’s consistent head growth, to maintain optimal comfort and therapeutic effectiveness.

As your baby’s cranial disorder shape begins to show signs of improvement, the frequency of these appointments may be reduced. This reduction, however, does not imply the therapy is complete. It simply indicates the helmet therapy is progressing as expected, and your child’s head shape is moving towards a more typical form. Periodic checks and adjustments continue to play a vital role throughout the therapy period to ensure the helmet’s continued fit and efficacy, given the dynamic nature of a baby’s growth.

How Many Cranial Remolding Helmets Will Be Required?

Determining the number of cranial remolding helmets needed for your child largely depends on two key factors: their age at the start of therapy and their rate of growth. Younger infants, typically beginning therapy around 4 to 6 months, have rapidly growing skulls which respond swiftly to remolding, often necessitating only one helmet for successful correction. This early intervention takes advantage of the fact that the baby’s skull is still very malleable and able to be reshaped with more ease.

On the other hand, for older babies who start therapy around the age of 8 months or later, or those with severe plagiocephaly or brachycephaly, the treatment can be a bit more complex. Their skulls have begun to harden and their growth rate has slowed, resulting in a longer treatment period. In such cases, as the initial helmet might not accommodate the full correction needed due to the slower reshaping of the skull, a second helmet may be required for optimal results. It’s always crucial to work closely with your healthcare provider to ensure the most effective treatment plan for your child’s specific needs.

Initial Days with the Cranial Remolding Helmet: What to Expect

The early days of your baby wearing the cranial remolding helmet are a period of adjustment, both for your little one and for you as a parent. As a new accessory added to their daily wear, it is perfectly normal for your child to experience some initial discomfort. At the onset, it is advised to introduce the helmet gradually, starting with wearing it for short durations of approximately one hour, and observing your child’s reaction to the new addition.

As your child becomes more familiar with the sensation of the helmet, you can progressively extend the wearing time. Mild redness on your child’s scalp may occur, similar to the pressure marks that adults experience after wearing a hat for a prolonged period. This is a common response and shouldn’t cause any alarm. The redness should subside within an hour after removing the helmet. However, if the redness persists or if your child seems particularly distressed, it may indicate that an adjustment to the helmet is needed. Always maintain open communication with your healthcare provider during these initial stages to ensure optimal comfort and effectiveness of the treatment.

Can the Cranial Remolding Helmet Cause Hair Loss?

No, cranial remolding helmets do not cause hair loss. Some babies might have a bit of hair thinning due to friction, but it grows back once helmet use is discontinued.

When and Where is Helmet Wearing Advisable?

Helmet wearing is advisable as much as possible, aiming for 23 hours a day. However, it can be removed for bathing and during any physical therapy sessions. Always ensure the helmet is worn in a safe environment and never during unsupervised times.

Is Helmet Wearing Recommended Amidst Sweating?

Yes, your baby can wear the helmet even if they are sweating. Babies sweat to cool themselves down and the helmet is designed to allow for adequate ventilation. If your baby’s scalp seems overly damp, you can remove the helmet for a brief period to let it dry.

Should the Helmet be Worn During a Fever?

No, if your baby has a fever, it’s recommended to remove the helmet until their temperature returns to normal. Contact your healthcare provider for guidance.

Is it Safe to Wear the Helmet at the Beach or Swimming Pool?

The helmet should not be worn while swimming. If you are at the beach, ensure the helmet is kept away from sand to prevent irritation to your baby’s scalp.

Maintaining the Band: How to Keep it in Optimal Condition?

To maintain the helmet in the best condition, clean it daily with mild soap and water. Also, regularly check for signs of wear and tear and contact your orthodontist if repairs are needed.

Cleaning Procedure for the Baby’s Helmet

Cleaning the helmet is simple. Use a soft cloth, mild soap, and warm water to gently clean the inside of the helmet. Rinse thoroughly and let it air dry. Do not use harsh chemicals, as they can damage the helmet.

Ideal Times to Clean Your Baby’s Helmet

Cleaning can be done during the helmet’s daily one-hour off-time. It’s best to clean the helmet in the evening, so it has ample time to dry overnight.

Conclusion

Cranial remolding helmets play a significant role in correcting a baby’s flat head. Though it might seem overwhelming initially, understanding the process and maintenance helps in seamlessly integrating it into your baby’s routine. Do you have experiences or tips to share about helmet therapy? 

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