Pediatrics Plagiocephaly Explained – Frequently Asked Questions

When a child is diagnosed with plagiocephaly numerous questions arise in the minds of parents, and learning more about the condition is important for those who have an infant dealing with the problem as well as those whopediatrics-cranial-molding-helmets want to prevent it from occurring in their child. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we get concerning this problem.

What Is Plagiocephaly?

Pediatric Plagiocephaly is also called ‘flat head syndrome’, and is essentially a condition where part of the skull is distorted. The condition involves a flat spot forming on the side or back of the head. The condition can often cause facial asymmetry to occur as well.

What Causes It?

Plagiocephaly is caused by an infant’s head lying in one position for too long. As a baby develops, the skull begins to form to the proper shape. But babies who are frequently left in the same position – usually lying on their back – will suffer this condition since the weight of their head forces the skull to develop incorrectly.

What Treatment Options Exist?

In some cases basic repositioning of the baby on a regular basis will be the only needed action. Giving babies ‘tummy time’ lets their skull develop properly and also has other benefits like increased muscular control, stronger stomach, arm, and neck muscles, and an increased ability to play – even at a very young age. In more severe cases the use of special helmets known as cranial molding helmets may be needed to correct the problem and prevent it from developing further.

What About SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a terrifying issue, and studies have found that babies are much safer sleeping on their backs. This recommendation has been linked to an increase in Plagiocephaly, however. While infants should still sleep on their backs, during waking hours, tummy time is a better option.

How Long Will My Baby Have To Wear The Helmet?

Usually, treatment with a cranial molding helmet takes about 3 to 4 months. However, some infants will need longer time to get the right results. It will depend on the age of the infant and on the severity of the condition they’re dealing with.

These are just a few of the most common questions about this condition. If you have more questions or concerns, our practitioners will gladly answer them all for you.


Photos used with permission of the following companies:  Becker Orthopedic • Cascade DAFO, Inc. • Endolite • Orthomerica Products, Inc. • Össur Americas • Ottobock • Spinal Technology, Inc. • SureStep • Touch Bionics, Inc. • Townsend Design

Courtesy of Spinal Technology, Inc. © 2013.

Courtesy of Orthomerica Products, Inc. © 2013.