A cranial helmet is an orthosis that gently guides the head into the most anatomical and aesthetic shape possible.
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It is not uncommon for babies to develop a flattened back of the head (brachycephalus) or a slightly crooked head (plagiocephalus). In some infants, the head deforms in the womb or during birth, and in others, skull asymmetries occur during the first few months of life.
Mostly it is doctors, therapists or the parents themselves who notice a flat or crooked head on their child. A head deformation is usually relatively easy to detect. If you look at the baby’s head from a bird’s eye view, you can see quite clearly whether the back of the head is flattened on one side or whether one ear is closer to the nose than the other. If this is the case, action should be taken as quickly as possible, as deformity of the head can lead not only to cosmetic problems, but also to medical problems. For example, the deformation of the skull may cause the jaw to shift.
In addition to the positioning therapy offered by physiotherapists and osteopaths, helmet therapy can effectively correct the deformation of the child’s head.
If manual therapies do not lead to the desired success in the event of deformation of the child’s head, a helmet therapy should be considered.
Helmet therapy takes advantage of the natural and rapid growth of the head during the period of infancy. The orthosis gently guides the head into the most anatomical and aesthetic shape possible.
Growth-guiding therapy should be used between the 5th and 9th month of life. The cranial bones are separated from each other and movable by cartilage joints in the first year. This is why head growth in this phase is particularly easy to guide.
The custom-made helmet has built-in air spaces that the head can grow into. Contact surfaces are created at the outward areas. Thereshould be no pressure on the head and the pediatrician will
tell you how long the helmet should be worn each day. Generally, helmets are worn 23 hours a day. In the first instance, the helmet should be removed at regular intervals in order to inspect the head for possible pressure points.
First, a non-contact scan is made of the child’s head. This allows the specific deformity to be determined. The scan itself is harmless to the health of infants.
Once this process is complete, we produce the individual helmet. In the course of one or more trial appointments, adjustments are made to the helmet until it fits optimally.
Anton was born with a deformed head. Today, four years later, his mother talks about her experiences with the head orthosis and explains why the whole family went around town with a helmet at some point...