A newborn’s skull is the most susceptible to changing shape. This is the most important period for parents and caretakers to take steps to prevent Flat Head Syndrome. Most physicians will only counsel parents on preventative measures during this time period, as the condition can resolve without any other intervention if proper preventative measures are taken.
Infants 2 months to 6 months
Physicians usually screen for Flat Head Syndrome at the 2 or 3 month well-baby visit. Parents can ask their physicians whether the screening took place at this time, and whether any deformation was noted, even if not severe enough to be referred for treatment. During this stage, infants are usually referred to a pediatric physical therapist for repositioning and stretching therapy. The most significant factor in whether or not the treatment is successful is the parents’ and caretakers’ compliance with the recommended exercises and repositioning.
Infants 6 months to about 1 year
Stretching exercises and repositioning continue during this time. Movement patterns for skills such as rolling over, pivoting, creeping and sitting are watched closely to make sure the infant can move symmetrically and orients to midline easily. If the head flattening persists and is severe enough, infants can be treated with a helmet (cranial molding orthosis) to help guide future skull formation. A helmet must be prescribed by a physician. The infants on this website are wearing helmets from Orthomerica. Our fact cards feature an infants treated with helmets from Cranial Technologies, Inc.