Wearing a helmet

Rachel - posted on 04/13/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My daughter's head is lopsided and her peditrician wants her to go see a specialist about wearing a corrective helmet. I am worried that she is going to look dumb with a big helmet on all the time. If you saw a baby wearing a helmet would you think they are special needs? It may be superficial to worry about that, but I do...

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Rachel - posted on 04/18/2010

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I think you guys are right. Its not about my superficial worries. I need to do whats best for my daughter. The specialist said that he definitely recommends that she wear a helmet, so that's what we're going to do. Better to deal with it now, then down the road when it's a lot harder to fix. Thanks for the reality check ladies.

Laurie - posted on 04/14/2010

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My son had what I thought was a rather noticeable flat spot on one side of his head by the time he was about six months or so. It got to the point where I took him to the specialist and she ran through a series of tests to determine how big a problem it was. In Canada anyway they work off a scale of 1 to 5 on about four different measurements and the baby has to be quite bad - at least a 3 out 5 on all the measurements before they recommend the helmet. Our son was only at the lowest rating on each of the tests so while it was a noticeable flat spot in our opinion it was not anywhere near what it could have been. In the end the specialist said he did not need a helmet because it was not that bad to start with and would get better once he started sitting and crawling rather than lying down. The way she explained it to us was that laying on one side all the time causes the skull to flatten and become misshapen and that once the baby is not lying down for most of the day the normal growth of the brain and skull will round it out. She also said that a bit of a flat spot is not a problem and that hair will cover a lot - if you were to shave the whole adult population bald there would be very few adults with perfectly round heads. The skull is still very soft up until 12 months of age so if you can get the baby sitting up most of the time or try to get them to lie down on the opposite side it will correct itself. To give you an idea of when they recommend helmets - the skull is malformed enough that the face is not symetrical anymore (one eye is noticeably lower than the other etc. If this is what Rachel means by lopsided then her daughter may well need a helmet but only for a few months). If it is to that point it will not fix itself and a helmet is needed but if you need to touch the head to feel the flat spot or it is not glaringly obvious to non-family members (Mom, Dad and Grammas etc are very sensitive to any flat spots and will see any little flattening as catastrophic) then it will fix itself once the baby is up off their back for most of the day. Eric is now two and a bit and the problem corrected itself as the specialist said it would. I was very worried at the time though.

Jamie - posted on 04/14/2010

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She needs to correct her skull malformation, regardless of how insecure you feel about other people thoughts and feelings, you NEED to fix this now while her skull is still soft and mailable. Suck it up and do the right thing for your child. Plus the "helmet" you are referring to is not that big of a deal, see here: http://www.hopeforremy.org/gallery/14
and count your blessings!

Andrea - posted on 04/14/2010

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Sitting up and tummy time will help corect a flat head. My daughter's head was flat and it is alot better then what it was. But I am not sure if Rachel's daugther's head is flat or not. You could try to see a phiso thathapest to see if they can help with correcting the problem.

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From what I've heard, the child would have to wear the helmet for most of the day for a couple of months, but that may all depend on how mishaped the head is. My cousin was told that her twins needed helmets, but after looking into it she decided against it and they are five now with normal shaped heads. My husbands cousin also had a flat head as a baby and as he got older and could sit up it fixed itself. My daughters head is slightly flat on the right side, but as she has been sitting up more and doing more belly time I have noticed a difference. We go to the doctor in two weeks to see what they think about it. If they suggest a helmet I am not sure what we will do yet. But I can tell you that we would not not do it for the fact that she would look dumb in the helmet. She's a baby and wouldn't even know, and its not a long term thing. The reason I would think twice about it, is I heard it is pretty big and uncomfortable. All that being said, the specialist knows what is best. I would def go to the specialist and see what they recommend and get as much info as you can before making your decision.

Andrea - posted on 04/13/2010

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I would put the helment on now. Would she have to wear it all the time or just for a couple of hours a day???

Amy - posted on 04/13/2010

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if she doesnt wear a helmet to correct it her head will stay lop sided correct? my thoughts are if she needs the helmet to fix the problem then put her in one now before she gets older and its extremly noticeable. so i would put her thoughts in front on this one. even if people stare or snicker now its better then when she is in school and the kids notice and call her horrible names for something that isnt her fault.

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