- On Monday, Chrissy Teigen shared via Twitter that her son Miles would start wearing a helmet to help fix his flat skull.
- Other Twitter users responded, sharing images of their own helmet-clad babies and offering support.
- Research has offered mixed conclusions on the efficacy of helmets for skull deformities, but the most recent American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines recommend their use.
On Monday, Chrissy Teigen took to Twitter to tell followers that her youngest child Miles was being fitted for “a little helmet today for his adorable slightly misshapen head.” In typical Teigen fashion, this created an influx of tweets from parents whose children also wore tiny helmets.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 3, 2018
The helmets are used to fix positional plagiocephaly, a condition that can occur when a baby’s sleep position misshapes their skull, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Usually, parents will notice their baby’s skull is deformed around two to three months after birth.
Following Teigen’s post, other parents responded with support and praise
A misshapen baby skull sounds frightening, but Mayo Clinic reports that “many newborns have slightly uneven heads.” In fact, to show solidarity and support, other Twitter users responded to Teigen’s tweet with photos of their babies wearing similar reshaping helmets.
Adorable! My son Miles had a helmet like that too when he was little… pic.twitter.com/8BMCPStyJo
— Donald O'Treply (@don_o_treply) December 4, 2018
My little twinnie A wore hers for 8 weeks! pic.twitter.com/aWUklRQVqA
— Jessica Baird (@redheadjessB) December 4, 2018
7 years ago my baby girl needed a little help too. Now she’s a perfectly symmetrical(and healthy and smart and beautiful)big girl! pic.twitter.com/WQ7yJH3dkG
— April ???? DragonCon (@AprilandPJ) December 3, 2018
Research has offered mixed conclusions on the efficacy of helmets for skull deformities, but the most recent guidelines recommend their use
Although a tiny helmet is the most common way to fix a baby’s flattened or deformed skull, research has debated the method’s efficacy. A 2014 study in The BMJ found that helmets did not provide significant improvement to babies with skull deformities. In 2016, however, the AAP released its latest guidelines on positional plagiocephaly, stating helmets are the recommended treatment method for the condition.
The 2016 guidelines also stated that repositioning therapy – moving an infant into various positions during sleep and play – can fix minor deformities, while helmets may be best suited for babies with more severe skull deformities. “Evidence in favour of helmet use is annotated by the lack of data regarding the extent of natural history improvement in positional plagiocephaly,” the guideline’s authors concluded.
Positional plagiocephaly can be prevented with tummy time and changing a baby’s sleep position regularly
The jury is still out on the effectiveness of helmets, but there are various ways to prevent positional plagiocephaly. First, remember that some flatness or misshapen areas are normal. According to the Mayo Clinic, the back of a baby’s head may look uneven from an overhead view but is no reason for alarm. Flat spots typically don’t affect a baby’s mental development or brain growth, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
To prevent or naturally fix a flat skull, the Mayo Clinic suggests alternating the way your baby’s head faces when they sleep, holding your baby when they are awake to relieve pressure caused by swings and seats, and placing your baby on their stomach for supervised tummy time.
If you do think a helmet is the best option for your baby, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider first. If a helmet is prescribed, it usually takes just 12 weeks to properly reform an infant’s skull, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons noted.
- Read more:
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