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Helmet Molding Therapy

What is helmet molding therapy?

Helmet molding therapy, or cranial orthosis, is a type of treatment where an infant is fitted with a special helmet to correct the shape of the skull.

How does helmeting correct my child’s head?

Cranial remolding helmets are usually made of a hard outer shell with a foam lining. Gentle, persistent pressures are applied to capture the natural growth of an infant's head, while inhibiting growth in the prominent areas and allowing for growth in the flat regions. As the head grows, adjustments are made frequently. The helmet essentially provides a tight, round space for the head to grow into. So, even if your child continues to rest their head on one side, the helmet will provide a cushioning to prevent the head from further flattening.

Is my child a candidate for helmet therapy?

If your child is diagnosed with deformational plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, or scaphocephaly and is less than 12 months old, we may prescribe cranial remolding to correct the shape of the child’s head.

In addition, children who have undergone endoscopy to correct a craniofacial disorder will often be prescribed helmet therapy for the first year after surgery to further correct the shape of the head.

Does my child need to wear the helmet all day?

Yes. The idea behind the helmet is that it is worn 23 hours a day. It can be taken off during bathing. The rest of the time, your infant should constantly be in the helmet — whether playing, sleeping, or feeding. This can be shocking to hear as a parent as you think of your baby’s formative months being spent wearing a helmet. One thing we like to emphasize is that the helmet is usually not uncomfortable for the baby.

How long will my child wear a helmet?

The average treatment with a helmet is usually three months. The amount of time your child will wear a helmet depends on their age and severity of their condition. Careful and frequent monitoring is required to ensure that the skull is reshaping correctly. Helmets must be prescribed by a licensed physician.

How often will we need to see the doctor while undergoing helmet therapy?

The frequency of follow-up visits depends on the severity of your child’s condition. As your child is being fitted with a molding helmet, and adjustments are made, you will make several regular visits to the company that provides the helmet.

 

Craniosynostosis Resources:

Pediatric Neurosurgery | Craniosynostosis

Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, Dr. Edward Ahn answers questions about what craniosynostosis is, how it is diagnosed and treated, what the prognosis is for children with the condition, and why you should consider Johns Hopkins for treatment.

Play Now

Craniosynostosis | Jack's Story

Born with pediatric craniosynostosis, Jack had minimally invasive surgery as an infant, performed by pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Edward Ahn.

Play Now

 

Listen to pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Edward Ahn talk about positional plagiocephaly and craniosynostosis in infants.

Watch the recording of Dr. Ahn’s online discussion about craniosynostosis.

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