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Flat-headed babies ...

  1. #1
    Genro is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2006

    Flat-headed babies ...

    I have a friend in the US who is currently having to have her daughter wear a helmet to correct this problem. I had never heard of it before and was rather alarmed by the statistics I found in this article. I thought you may all like to read it too as an FYI. Guess 'tummy time' is even more important now ...

    article copied below and link:,00.html


    By Ellen Connolly

    March 04, 2007 12:00
    Article from: The Sunday Telegraph

    BABIES are being fitted with helmets to fix "flattened-head syndrome", a condition now affecting almost half of all infants.

    The number of cases in Australia has skyrocketed due to a highly successful campaign to ensure babies sleep on their backs to prevent cot death.

    "Parents are anxious about it because there is a risk that a funny, deformed head will make their child destined to be teased at school,'' Dr Erica Jacobson, from the Helmet Clinic at Sydney Children's Hospital, said.

    "We've seen a 700 per cent increase at our clinic since the sudden infant death syndrome campaign to lie babies on their backs.''

    Known medically as plagiocephaly, the deformity occurs when a baby's soft head is left in one position for a period of time.

    It has led to a new generation of babies with flat heads. "We get everything from heads that are just grossly weird, right down to mild deformity,'' she said.

    "Some of these kids have banana shaped heads and are very weird to look at.''

    Flat-headedness does not affect an infant's brain, but can distort physical appearance.

    "It's predominantly a cosmetic issue, which usually repairs itself. It makes parents anxious, but it can be managed,'' Dr Jacobson said.

    "Most of them will improve naturally, but the helmet will speed things up a bit.''

    Made from fibreglass, helmets are worn 22 hours a day to mould the head into a rounded shape.

    "It's very daunting initially for parents because they are concerned about having a baby out in public in a helmet,'' Dr Jacobson said.

    Nine-month-old Sophia Varsamidis had a flattening of the right back side of the head, pushing her head growth forward and causing her ears to be lopsided.

    "Her head was at such an angle it looked strange. It was very noticeable,'' her mother, Rachael, said.

    "The helmet is going to give us peace of mind.

    "I wasn't aware of how prevalent it was until I went to the helmet clinic and there were all these kids there wearing them.''

    Dr Jacobson said the condition was a small price to pay for the success of the national Back To Sleep campaign, which had led to cot deaths dropping by 80 per cent.

    She said parents must continue to lie their babies on their backs to sleep.

    Recent US figures reveal the incidence of ``flat-headed'' babies could be as high as 48 per cent.

    The condition usually develops by four months of age and should be treated before babies reach 18 months.

    Many parents are consulting osteopaths to gently manipulate their baby's head into shape.
    Eight-month-old Jai Watson's head was flat from neck to crown.

    "I was really worried when I first noticed it because I thought it could affect his brain or be a permanent deformity,'' Jai's mother, Juliette Francois, said.

    After six months of treatment with osteopath Sharon Franklin, it is slowly becoming rounded.
    Ms Francois said she felt torn about what to do.

    "On the one hand you're told to sleep them on their backs to prevent cot death, but on the other, you know, it's causing this flat-head problem.''

    Ms Franklin said measures to stop flat heads developing included giving babies more time lying on their stomachs.

  2. #2
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    Mar 2006
    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong

    You don't have to do anything so extreme as a helmet- a cranial osteopath uses massage to round out flat heads.

  3. #3
    somebodyfamous's Avatar
    somebodyfamous is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2005
    Hong Kong


    How to find a 'cranial osteopath' in HK?

  4. #4
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Sep 2002
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong

    We have a couple listed in the GeoBaby directory.

    There's Caroline Rhodes and Balance Health have one on their staff

    Founded GeoBaby in 2002

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