What is Plagiocephaly?
Plagiocephaly is a condition that causes a baby’s head to be flat or misshapen. This can occur due to a child’s positioning after birth, decreased space in utero, or during delivery if a child gets stuck in the birth canal. If a child’s head is misshapen during birth or delivery, the condition usually corrects itself within a couple of months. If not corrected, a pediatrician may recommend a cranial helmet to help properly shape the head. Positional Plagiocephaly occurs when a child spends too much time in one particular position, such as laying on their back or favoring one side over the other.
You can prevent plagiocephaly by adjusting your baby’s position during sleep and encouraging Tummy Time to give the back of the head time to adjust. It’s no secret that some babies do not enjoy Tummy Time, but it is critical to their development and in preventing conditions like Plagiocephaly. If a child does not tolerate Tummy Time, try smaller increments more often throughout the day.
Decorative Cranial Helmets and Bands
If your child does end up needing a cranial helmet, rest assured that you are not alone! Helmets and bands may seem like a scary, sterile medical device at first, but there are now many options for personalizing helmets to showcase your child’s personality and make them less scary! People may not know how to react or what to say when they see a child with a regular cranial helmet, but when the helmet is decorated, there is a lot more opportunity to inform them about Plagiocephaly, as they are more likely to approach and ask about the decorated helmet.
You might have seen the recent article in the Huffington Post about Paula Strawn, an artist who paints cranial helmets for children. Strawn is incredibly talented and the service she provides is invaluable. You can see more of her designs on her facebook page.
Fortunately, we have some options local to Austin and Texas that can help you with your child’s cranial helmet as well!
Cranial Technologies has an office in Austin that provides cranial helmets and can also help with decorating. You can visit their website for tips on DIY decorating or connecting with someone local.
Bling Your Band is located in Texas and has an online store of vinyl stickers to choose from to personalize your child’s helmet.
Wrap Buddies is probably one of the coolest options nearby. The founders of Wrap Buddies also own Wrap 360, a company who wraps NASCAR racecars and helmets. The owner says that one day a man came in to his shop with a cranial helmet and asked if it could be wrapped. Upon learning that insurance often does not cover the full cost of the helmet (which can be over $3,000) the owner did not charge the man. He now continues to provide this service FREE of charge to other families!! Wrap Buddies has designated days for “Wrap Parties” where families come to the shop and the wraps are made while they wait.
The parties are in Dallas, but they also have partners located throughout the state, including one in San Antonio.
WrapBuddies will also vinyl wrap other medical equipment!
DIY options include purchasing stickers at a local craft store, using acryclic paint, and modpodge. Check Pinterest and Instagram for some inspiration! Do you know of any other local options for decorating cranial helmets? Be sure to let us know!