National Treasure Chrissy Teigen revealed on Monday in social media that her son is now wearing a helmet to correct a flat spot on his head. "Baby Miles is today adapted for his little helmet for his adorable, slightly misshapen head," she wrote on Twitter . "So when you see pictures, you do not feel bad for him because he's just repairing his apartment and to be honest, he'll probably be even nicer with it somehow."
Later she told Instagram that Miles "is a lucky mistake and we are repairing his apartment!"
When I saw their posts, I thought first, OMG, her son is adorable and then OMG, my son – also called Miles – had to wear such a helmet when he was little.
For us it started when Miles & # 39; Pediatrician pointed out that he had a two-inch flat patch on the chest behind his head and his head was slightly wider at the back than at the front, at which time he was 5 months old and sleeping very well – something his doctor said
So he was prescribed Helmet Therapy and we were told that Miles should wear his helmet 23 hours a day (we only took it off during bath time and rubbing alcohol three times a day cleaned.) My man Chris and I opted for a jungle helmet to try to make Miles a joke. Like a bicycle helmet, it was hard plastic on the outside and foam on the inside, though it covered most of his head and ears. As Miles (and his head) grew, the inside of his helmet was regularly sanded down to make room for his growing noggin, in a manner the doctor considered appropriate.
The helmet had some challenges to offer.
For starters, the helmet was ridiculously expensive ($ 1,200 in front and another $ 500 for doctor visits, and coverage for such helmets is often limited). We also had to visit a specialist every two weeks to have the inside of the helmet cut off, and Baby Miles got some rashes as he was wearing off his helmet. I was also worried about how other people would react to Miles. Would the other babies (or parents) react in the daycare? Would people treat him differently?
My husband and I definitely got some outrageous comments from strangers (including "What's wrong with him ?!"), but we found that it was more of a conversation starter than anything else. More than a few parents hunted us down the street to ask for our helm experience after their paediatricians recommended it.
All in all, my Miles wore a helmet for seven months. He is now 5, has no memory of his hello-wearing days and his head seems to be good, although he has longer hair, so it's hard to say. Chris and I kept his helmet as a souvenir – it's too expensive to throw away – and he's collecting dust in Miles' closet at the moment.
There are several reasons why your child's pediatrician recommends helmet-based therapy (sometimes called "cranial orthosis."
"It's not uncommon for newborns to have unusually shaped heads due to pressure in the uterus or at birth usually sounds like it takes about six weeks, "says Eric Morley, MDH, a Long Beach Memorial Care Medical Group pediatrician, tells SELB, just because a child has a strangely shaped head does not mean it definitely needs a helmet
However, in some cases (such as ours), it may be helpful to correct a condition called plagiocephaly, a condition in which the soft plates are in a state The baby's skull develops a flat or irregular appearance , often of those who sleep in the same position, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine .There are spaces between the plates at ju babies, and as the child grows, the plates grow, become harder, and knit together.
Plagiocephaly is not dangerous, says Johns Hopkins Medicine, but children who have it may end up with a misshapen head when they are older. "There is a direct link between the Back to Sleep campaign in which Babies can sleep on their back, "says Craig Vander Kolk, MD, director of cosmetic medicine and surgery at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, told SELF. The campaign has drastically reduced the cases of SIDS he says, but it has also led to an increased need for helm therapy.
Helmets are also used when a baby has craniosynostosis, a condition that happens when the plates of a baby's skull merge too soon or unusually, or have brachycephaly (a shorter skull) or a scaphocephaly (a long, narrow head) says Johns Hopkins Medicine.
On average, babies need to be under 12 years of age to start the form therapy and must wear the helmet for three months.
While helmet form therapy is often prescribed, research on it is inconclusive.
That's partly because it's so hard to study. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) pointed out in 2016 that there are no standard criteria to measure and quantify the deformity of a child's head, or the timeframe at which doctors use plagiocephaly need to treat a helmet.
Related research is contradictory, although they mostly speak in favor of helmet use. For example, in a randomized, controlled trial published in BMJ in 2014, 84 babies between the ages of 5 and 6 months with moderate to severe cranial deformity were observed for six months. Babies were randomly assigned to either receive helmet therapy or simply have their skull deformity natural. Their results showed no real differences in improvement between groups, suggesting that the helmets really did not do much.
However, the study was criticized for having a small number of participants, poor helmets, and no evaluation of how long babies to whom the helmets were assigned actually wore it every day. "This study was not well done and has been much criticized by those of us who have been doing so for a long time," says Dr. Jordan Steinberg, assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine SELBST. "If you put a badly fitting helmet on a child who does not need it, you will not get a good result."
Dr. Steinberg also led a study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery which analyzed 4,378 flat-site patients and assigned either conservative therapy (such as changing babies when falling asleep or physiotherapy) or helmet therapy , Babies' heads were completely corrected in 95 percent of those who immediately received helmet therapy, and in 96 percent of babies whose head shape did not improve with conservative therapy.
The AAP has issued guidelines from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons stating that the head shape of a baby is "more significant and faster when treated with a helmet than more conservative therapy, especially if the deformity is severe and the deformity is severe." Helmet therapy is used when they are still quite young.
Generally, physicians generally recommend this when the case of a child seems serious enough.
A baby's head shape improves "generally over time, even without helmeting." Dr. Jesse Taylor, MD The Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia explains to SELF that it is difficult to prove that a helmet is responsible for improvement on a case-by-case basis. In general, "helmets work well," he says.
If necessary, your doctor may advise you to start your baby immediately with a helmet. Depending on your specific circumstances and the severity of your baby's case, you may also recommend more conservative treatments, such as: Jonathan Martin, a neurosurgeon, explains, for example, the counterpositioning (essentially repositioning your child with a cushion or other measures such as moving the cradle relative to the door or hanging an interesting cellphone)) or more time when your baby is awake Connecticut Children's Medical Center, opposite SELF. "The goal is to get more time for the" flat "part of the head."
In fact, Dr. Vander Kolk, that he usually recommends helmets only in more serious cases. "If I think a case is mild, I usually do not recommend helmets to families," he says. "Wearing a helmet for 23 hours a day can be difficult for a child."
And at a certain age babies age from helmets. "The FDA does not allow wearing helmets older than 18 months but practically most infants do not respond to the helmet after one year," Dr. Steinberg. "They become handsy and get out of there. I always strive to be ready by the age of 12 months.
If your child has a flat spot on their heads, do not hesitate to mark it for your pediatrician. If your doctor decides that he is a good way, the helmet form therapy will work best if done earlier, Dr. Steinberg. So it's not something you want to sit on.