Is Treatment Necessary?
Perhaps you are wondering if treatment for your baby’s plagiocephaly is necessary. Maybe it is a fairly mild case, and you wonder if treatment is really that important. Maybe you’re wondering:
- Will it traumatize my child?
- Will it really make that big of a difference?
- Could my baby’s head correct itself without treatment?
- Are there any long-term effects of not treating it?
- What if we can’t afford the helmet?
Obviously the decision to treat your child’s plagiocephaly is an important one that will affect your whole family. The National Association for Plagiocephaly™ was created to provide information and education, as well as support and stories so 1) you know you are not alone, 2) you can receive encouragement and community from people who truly understand what you are going through, and 3) you can learn from others’ experiences to make the best, most informed decisions for your child.
Will it traumatize my child?
The great thing about treating your child’s plagiocephaly is that it is done at an early age before they’ll even remember it. Treatment is not at all painful, and most babies adjust to their corrective helmets very quickly and easily.
Consider the long-term consequences of not treating your child’s plagiocephaly from a cosmetic standpoint. Ask yourself whether you will be comfortable with your child’s head shape in a few years. Perhaps more important is to ask whether your child will be comfortable with his or her head shape in elementary school or as a teenager, young adult, and adult?
Choosing TO treat your child’s plagiocephaly will be more difficult for you than them. Choosing NOT to can cause a lifetime of difficulty for you AND your child.
Will it really make that big of a difference?
Yes! Remember, plagiocephaly is a very common, highly treatable condition. As long as you begin treatment within the appropriate age range while the skull is still rapidly forming itself, your child should respond very well to treatment. View a before and after case study here.
Could my baby’s head correct itself without treatment?
If detected and diagnosed early enough, your baby’s head could reshape itself without corrective helmeting, depending on the severity. However, it will require some changes, such as sleep position changes and physical therapy exercises. Check with your Pediatrician or consult a Cranial Specialist before making a final decision about omitting treatment.
Are there any long-term effects of not treating it?
As stated above, there can definitely be long-term emotional and psychological effects of not treating plagiocephaly, from a cosmetic standpoint.
But what about physically? Currently there are no definitive links to long-term effects on a child’s brain, vision, or hearing; however, there are many studies looking into potential long-term problems associated with untreated plagiocephaly. If a child faces lifelong facial asymmetry due to plagiocephaly, there may be difficulty fitting them with glasses in the future. Jaw alignment issues such as crossbite or underbite, or TMJ are also potential side effects of untreated plagiocephaly.
Also, given the fact that plagiocephaly is the improper formation of a child’s skull, many doctors are now considering the implications of structural skull problems from plagiocephaly.
What if we can’t afford the helmet?
Corrective helmets can be very expensive, costing upwards of $4,000. And since it is still widely considered a cosmetic issue, many insurance companies do not cover the cost of corrective helmets.
So that no family has to make the difficult decision to not treat their child’s plagiocephaly due to financial straits, we created The Halo Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to gifting scholarships to deserving families of our beloved plagiobabies. Learn more about The Halo Project here.