Helen Hayes Hospital announces that its Prosthetic Orthotic Center now offers cranial remolding helmets for the treatment of plagiocephaly.
Plagiocephaly is an unusual flattening of a baby’s head due to pressure on the still soft skull. It may be characterized by a flattening on one side or the entire back of the head, and possibly an asymmetric forehead and ears. Diagnoses of plagiocephaly have risen dramatically since the institution in 1992 of the “Back to Sleep” program, which has been effective in preventing sudden infant death syndrome. The additional time that babies spend in car seats and other supine positions places them at increased risk of developing plagiocephaly, which is also common in premature and multiple births. Cranial remolding helmets work to redirect the child’s natural head growth toward greater symmetry. This is accomplished by maintaining contact over the prominent areas of the cranium, allowing room for growth in the areas of flattening. The cranial orthosis can be used in children from three to eighteen months of age. Typically, the child wears the helmet for three to four months.
Cranial orthoses are FDA approved and have been prescribed by pediatricians for the treatment of plagiocephaly for over 25 years. The first article written about cranial remolding orthoses to treat plagiocephaly was written by Dr.’s Clarren, Smith and Hanson in 1979 in a study done at the University of Washington.
A physician’s prescription for the device is required. ABC certified orthotists in the Helen Hayes Hospital Prosthetic Orthotic Center will measure the child, then fabricate a custom-made cranial remolding helmet to meet the child’s individual needs. The device will then be fit to the child and adjusted as the child’s head reshapes.
For additional information on cranial remolding helmets, insurance coverage, or to schedule an appointment, call the Helen Hayes Hospital Prosthetic Orthotic Center in West Haverstraw at 845-786-4122, or in Poughkeepsie at 845-471-3703. Services are provided at both locations.