Tommy-Ray helps raise the profile of Plagiocephaly
Almost half of all babies under the age of one are affected by plagiocephaly, a condition more commonly known as ‘flat head syndrome’. However, with very little know about this condition and the treatments available, finding the best care and advice for your baby can be difficult. In a bid to raise awareness, World Plagiocephaly Awareness Day is taking place on Tuesday 4th April to highlight this little known condition that affects so many babies in the UK alone.
When Tommy-Ray was just 3 months old, his parents noticed a change in his head shape, it was a little flat at the back. Concerned, his parents spoke to the health visitor who advised that his head would be fine and would eventually correct itself, this did not stop them worrying and instead they tried everything to help reduce the pressure on his flat spot.
Once Tommy-Ray began to hold himself upright, his parents noticed his head always dropped to one side, they used toys and played games to encourage him to turn his head but he continued to struggle and after speaking to his paediatrician, Tommy-Ray was diagnosed with torticollis (tight neck muscles) and as a result he was also diagnosed with Brachycephaly (Flat Head Syndrome).
Whilst researching Tommy-Ray’s condition his parents came across a lot of advice from UK professionals simply stating the flatness would correct itself before Tommy-Ray reached two years old and consequently, there is no treatment available on the NHS. They also came across a lot of parents who had followed this advice but saw no improvement, instead wishing they could turn back the clock and choose treatment.
After a lot of internet research, his parents came across Steeper Clinic and knew right away that they needed to book an appointment. At his first appointment, Tommy-Ray’s parents were informed that due to him being 6 months old they were unlikely to see any improvements from repositioning alone and were recommended the STARband™ helmet treatment to begin as soon as possible. Due to the severity of Tommy-Ray’s head shape, his age and the fact his condition was worsening rather than improving, his parents knew, without a doubt they needed to go ahead with treatment.
The turning point
“On the day of the helmet fitting we were so nervous that we were going to be upset seeing our baby in the helmet, but all we felt was overwhelming relief, knowing that we were doing the right thing for our son.”
Since that day, neither his parents nor Tommy-Ray have looked back. Tommy-Ray managed the transition into his helmet exceptionally well, he slept all night and on his first night sleeping in the helmet he began to roll and sleep on his side, something that he had never done before as he found it too difficult to roll with his head being so flat at the back.
After only 10 days, there was a significant improvement in Tommy-Ray’s head shape, the flatness was reducing and whilst it is not about perfection, the improvements have been more than noticeable.
Overall, Tommy-Ray’s treatment lasted 6 months and although this seems like a long time, it flew by quickly. His parents have no regret about opting for the STARband and say they would 100% make the same decision again. Since graduating from his helmet treatment, Tommy-Ray has been doing very well and is continuing to fly through his milestones!
About Steeper Clinic
At Steeper Clinic, we have been providing advice to concerned parents and treatment options to babies affected by plagiocephaly. Our approach is simple: earlier detection, increased awareness and education for parents. At our clinic in Leeds, we offer the latest scanning technology, designed to offer a highly precise, quick and safe assessment of your baby’s head. Combined with the experience and expertise of our Paediatric Clinical Specialist, Kate Chauhan, we have successfully treated over 500 babies and helped them regain a more rounded and symmetrical head shape.
With a variety of treatment options available, each baby seen at Steeper Clinic will have a tailored treatment plan, specifically designed based on their head shape, age and severity level. In the majority of cases seen at the clinic, re-positioning is the first line of treatment, however if this has not proven to be effective we also offer the world leading STARband helmet to help guide growth and restore normal head shape in babies.