Letter of Endorsement
The following is a letter of endorsement from the founder’s son’s pediatrician, Dr. Jonathan Auth.
Since the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed the Back To Sleep campaign of the mid 1990’s there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), resulting in more than 2000 saved lives per year in the United States. However, the resulting positioning of infants for prolonged periods during sleep on their backs has also increased the frequency of positional skull deformities and plagiocephaly. In 2013, by some measures, as many as half of infants had some measurable skull deformity.
The majority of these deformities are mild and peak in severity around 4 months of age, and ultimately most will resolve spontaneously as the infants strengthen and grow. Some cases may require physical therapy, and unfortunately if untreated, some of these infants with more severe involvement will continue to have persisting deformity into adolescence and adulthood Plagiocephaly is a source of significant anxiety and concern for parents. Though these deformities are believed to be mostly cosmetic, it is still not completely clear to what degree these patients may have future neurological or developmental problems in association with this condition, and the need exists for ongoing research to better understand the risks and optimal prevention and treatment plans.
Today, prevention and treatment of plagiocephaly is imperative, and largely involves positioning the infant in such a way as to orient laying the head down on alternating sides, and encourage at least 30 to 60 minutes per day of “tummy time”, which will help lessen the forces involved with deformation. Additionally, minimizing prolonged periods of time in car safety seats and swings, may reduce the potential for plagiocephaly. Awareness, education and proper understanding of positioning goals in parents is crucial to preventing progression of plagiocephaly, which in severe cases, if not treated successfully may require cranial orthotic devices (So called “Helmet” therapy) to reverse this condition.
– Jonathan Auth, MD