BACK-TO-SLEEP, PLAGIOCEPHALY and CRANIAL HELMETS
Since 1992, when the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a change to infant sleeping position, the incidence of Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) has increased exponentially. The reason for the change in sleep position was based on research in preventing SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) related deaths. While the research showed a 40% decrease in SIDS deaths when infants were placed on their back to sleep, the incidence of Deformational Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) increased just as dramatically.
While cranial molding dates back as far as Hippocrates, using such materials as birch bark to bind the skull, today we utilize sophisticated equipment such as 3-dimensional surface scanning devices to capture the infant skull shape, CAD-CAM (computer aided design-computer aided manufacturing) foam carvers to produce a symmetrical foam model which is used to fabricate the corrective helmet.
Plaster of Paris casting of infants is a thing of the past. The use of a 3-dimensional surface scanner allows the Orthotist to produce digital model of your baby’s head in about 3 minutes. The surface scanner basically takes pictures of the baby’s head and assembles them into a digital image which can be manipulated, modified in shape and emailed. In addition, this scanning technology permits before and after comparisons, thus tracking your baby’s progress is fast and accurate.
Cranial molding is best initiated between the ages of 3 and 6 months. To be effective, the CRO must be used during the period of rapid brain growth, normally between birth and 8 months of age. Daily wearing time is between 22 and 23 hours, with time off for cleaning and hygiene.
The total treatment time is dependent on several factors. Starting age probably plays the greatest role due to the need for rapid brain growth. The older the child starts the longer the treatment time and the greater the chance full correction will not be achieved. Severity of the asymmetry and compliance with wearing are other important factors when calculating treatment time length.
The best thing to do is discuss your concerns with your physician and call us for an appointment. The NiC BAND Program provides a no fee consultation assessment. We will perform a complete evaluation of your child, calculate all the variables to determine severity and offer an estimate of treatment time. We have offices located in Mineola and Queens. Please call toll free 833-NiCBAND to schedule your complimentary consultation.
Anthony J. Cappa, BS, CPO has over 25 years of experience in cranial remolding. He has worked closely with the leading neurosurgeons, craniofacial surgeons and plastic surgeons in New York City, the five boroughs, Nassau and Suffolk. He has lectured physicians, allied health professionals, case workers and insurance companies on the treatment of Plagiocephaly and post-operative craniosynostosis. Founded in 1996, the FDA approved (Non-invasive Cranioplasty Band) N i.C. BAND™ Program established 11 standards of care for the treatment of infants with cranial asymmetry. The Program utilizes the latest 3-dimensional Class 1(safe for the eyes) structured light scanner to capture the outer contour of an infant’s head. This device is portable so it may be used in hospitals for post-operative cranial care. Please call TOLL FREE 833-NICBAND(642-2263) for a free brochure outlining all 11 standards and more detailed information on Plagiocephaly and cranial remolding.