Embarrassing Bodies Kids: Episode 3

Asymmetrical head

Did you know that a baby is born with 340 bones but as we get older we only have 206? This is because the bones fuse together and change as we develop. Six month old Bradley is suffering from plagiocephaly, an asymmetrical head, and there are several causes; the soft bones in his head have been pushed out of shape; a genetic fault; or sleeping in the same position. Dr Christian sends Bradley and his mum Hayley to see an orthotist who will fit Bradley with a helmet, to be worn for six months, that will mould those soft bones into the right shape. After four months in the helmet, Bradley comes to visit Dr Christian, there is already a remarkable improvement in the symmetry of Bradley’s head.

The EB team would like to thank:
Mr Stephen Mottram, Clinical Specialist Orthotist

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My son is 15 months old with a noticebly flat head at the back, my midwife & HV also told me it would sort itself out when he was very young so I trusted them, but as he has got older, it has got worse. I have just been to see a GP to refer my son after seeing the episode, he has reluctently referred him to our local hospital, but at 15 months old is it too late? is there any treatment that can correct this now? I feel so let down and fobbed off but he is the one who will have to bare the brunt of it.





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I have had a similar episode to yourself, you wont get any help on the NHS. My son is 17 months old and has had Plagiocephaly since he was three mnths. I have found a clinic called The London Orthotic Consultancy who have treated babies up to 20 months with success using the Locband. You get a free consultation. We are going for fitting this Friday.

Hello! I was so glad to watch the show covering the topic of misshaped heads. My son's head became increasingly flat at the back when he was about 3 months old. After consulting all health professions, they all assured me that his head would 'come out' and rectify itself by the time he was a year old. It's disgusting that the NHS does not fund this type of treatment and have let us down big style!! I was getting worried and time was passing by, so after searching we came across a clinic in cardiff. Without a doubt we decided to go ahead with treatment. I didn't want his misshaped head to affect him in the future, and knowing that NOT ALL flat heads rectify themselves. My son was 7 months when he had the starband helmet.He had the helmet for around 10 months and did not batter an eyelid of having to wear it day and night. Unfortunately he developed eczema on his forehead which meant he missed a couple of months wearing it. It would have been less time. Within the first week of the treatment my husband and i noticed a big difference, the back of his head had gradually come out,HONESTLTY! and was getting better from there onwards! We are so glad that we went ahead with the treatment. It made heads turn and questions asked,but i was only too glad to explain to people. My second son was born a couple of months after my son finished with his helmet, so i brought a special pillow to (which was up to 3 months) and luckily his head is a perfect shape, now nearly 10 months, but if it wasn't, i would have had the starband treatment again, without a doubt. I just want to praise ossur! I urge parents, if in doubt to go for a consultation A.S.A.P. I know it's expensive, but your children are priceless.





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I was very worried reading the following sentence: 'Dr Christian sends Bradley and his mum Hayley to see an orthotist who will fit Bradley with a helmet...it will mould those soft bones into the right shape.' I was very thrilled TV4 is raising awareness in this area as it has been neglected by the NHS but unfortunately it will cause a lot more mysteries. I already had a chat with a worried mum whose baby would need the helmet but she doesn't want to risk brain damage. The helmet IS NOT moulding the bones as far as I understand from Dr Blecher who is a leading researcher surgeon in Europe in this area and has been treating thousands of babies in the past 17 year.





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Or try Ahead4babies in central London, close to train stations and Oxford Street.





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Bradley is the cutest wee baby I have ever seen in my life!! I love him :) He is always smiling!





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My Son is 2 1/2yrs and I have just been told by Ossur that he is too old for treatment. All because I was fobbed off by my doctor too, and told not to worry it will correct itslef. Is ther anything that can be done at this age?





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This happened to me also, my doctor and health visitors kept saying that my daughter's flat head would correct itself and after finally pushing to be referred, she finally had a scan to check that her brain was not growing too close to the side of the skull that had fused early. This was all fine, but nothing can be done about the shape. I feel incredibly guilty that I didn't push sooner. Are there any problems which may occur as she grows (teeth, jaw)?

hi,my 10 month old son has a flat head on one side i have also been told by the hv and a gp that his head should pop out and to wait till hes ayear before they will do anything about it..should i take him to the doctors now or wait till hes a year?





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wait, i had a dint in my head when i was younger, it grew out and my heads now fine xx

If your baby is 10 months old now go asap to once of the helmet clinics and have a free assessment. In some of them there are surgeons seeing babies who operate in hospitals other days of the week so they really know what's going on in the head. Later there won't be a chance to correct the head shape with the helmet! This is your window of opportunity now. After 6 months of age the bones get firm and the shape will not change according to studies in this area.

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Thank you lucy and vicky for your lovely comments. I will persue what you have both suggested thank you very much it is a great help being able to talk to other mums in similar situations.





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hi my name is rebekh i have a son with a misshaped head i knw he needs a helmet and i was told by many a doctor that the uk does not have them no more i have tried several things to help and non have worked what would i have to do to get a helmet for him thanks





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there are som eplaces in the uk that do them on the nhs but not many ... most people like me have had to go private and fundraise the cost of 2000 for treatment. also headstart4babies are a charity that may be able to help towards the payment for his helmet. My son is 9 months and 2 months into helmet treatment now with brilliant results so far.Dont despair u will be suprised what friends and neighbours will do for a baby . Good luck

My 5 year old son developed brachycephaly within 3 weeks of birth and I could see it getting progressively worse. As a member of a pregnancy/prenting message board I was aware of how it's treated in the US so asked to be referred to the hospital. By this time, looking at charts/photos my son was somewhere between moderate/severe brachycephaly. I too was fobbed off with "It'll right itself in time" and "His hair will cover it." As a nursery nurse I've seen several 3 to 5 year olds with "flat heads" so I knew that wasn't the case. Private treatment was only available in London at that time and I was unable to fund this and travel regularly from Scotland. A friend recommended the "Noggin Nest" which I started using with immediate effects. Within a week the back of his head had begun to round out and in time corrected it completely. I must add that I started using this at around 3m, I doubt it would have helped if he was older and the bones had begun to fuse more. There is also a specialist mattress avilable, known as Sleep Curve which aims to prevent plagiocephaly and to correct in early stages. I hope this helps raise awareness of plagiocephaly and that if tackled early it can be easily treated.





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