Flat Head Syndrome can consist of three different types of disabilities, these are known as Plagiocephaly, Brachycephaly and Scaphocephaly. These 3 disabilities all include a baby's head becoming misshapen or flat. They are frequently grouped together and referred to as “Flat Head Syndrome”.
“Positional Plagiocephaly”, is the most common type of misshapen head, and more importantly it is usually preventable!
According to NHS data, the likelihood of flat head syndrome occurring is higher for twins and multiple births. As well as Premature babies or children who went through a traumatic labour process.
Other common causes of a flat spot in babies' heads can occur more naturally. These are as follows:
Occasionally, a flat spot or a flattened head can be caused by the plates of the skull fusing together too prematurely. This is called congenital plagiocephaly or more commonly known as craniosynostosis. Luckily this is a very rare condition that only occurs in about 1 in every 2500 births, so most of the time there will be another reason for your child's flathead.
We recommend three simple treatment options that can help to prevent and support flat head syndrome in a safe way.
These natural techniques are much recommended for mild and moderate cases compared to the controversial helmets and headbands treatment that cost more than £2000 and can come with adverse effects.
View products that can help to remove, alter and/or distribute pressure that causes plagiocephaly.
If your baby is diagnosed with Craniosynostosis, corrective surgery may be needed.
One size does not fit all. Different sizes are required in order to support different head circumference and neck support areas. Different sizes for each product are available depending on your baby’s age and head circumference.
Please go to the product’s page, and click on the size information tab to choose the right size for your baby. Head circumference information can normally be obtained from your doctor or health visitor (personal child health record – red book). If no recent head circumference record is available, you can do the measurement yourself, rather easily with some measuring tape.
We recommend all the natural techniques such as tummy-time, which is great for playing while the baby is awake, supervised repositioning in the day time, and pressure distribution pillow while the baby is laying on their back. If torticollis is involved, please get a referral for paediatric physiotherapy.
Research shows all these techniques are effective and the combination of these techniques result in the best outcomes.
Not always. The standard recommendation from the NHS is that a flat head is just a cosmetic problem and can either recover itself or be hidden by a baby’s hair as the baby grows older. Flattening will stop progressing once your baby is at a certain age and the subsequent head growth may visually improve, however residual flattening and facial asymmetry can persist well into adulthood.
Recent studies published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggest that only 25% - 75% of babies with Flat Head Syndrome see their skull recover by itself. 75% of infants in the study continue to have some degree of positional skull deformities at two years of age.
The authors also stated that:
“Skull deformation does not completely resolve in all cases by natural course, and helmet therapy does not seem to have an added value for recovery. Therefore, we emphasise the importance of prevention, early detection, and early treatment with paediatric physiotherapy of skull deformation.”