What is helmet molding therapy?

Helmet molding therapy, or cranial orthosis, is a type of treatment where an infant is fitted with a special helmet to correct the shape of the skull.

We understand that as a new parent hearing that your child needs corrective therapy of any kind can be alarming. At Snell’s we have specialized certified orthotists on staff who have completed the highest level of certification training to fit and fabricate cranial helmets. Snell’s uses the STAR Cranial Helmet system, which is the latest and most comfortable technology available to treat your child.

Just as important, we are empathetic and concerned for your baby’s well being and do our best to make the experience as calm and reassuring as possible.

If you would like for your child to have his or her helmet with a colorful design or graphic that makes it less intimidating, we are delighted to incorporate that into your infant’s helmet. (CLICK HERE FOR GALLERY)

How does a helmeting correct my child’s head shape?

Cranial remolding helmets are usually made of a hard outer shell with a foam lining. Gentle, persistent pressures are applied to capture the natural growth of an infant’s head, while inhibiting growth in the prominent areas and allowing for growth in the flat regions. As the head grows, adjustments are made frequently. The helmet essentially provides a tight, round space for the head to grow into. So, even if your child continues to rest their head on one side, the helmet will provide a cushioning to prevent the head from further flattening.

Is my child a candidate for helmet therapy?

If your child is diagnosed with deformational plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, or scaphocephaly and is less than 12 months old, a cranial remolding helmet may be prescribed to correct the shape of the child’s head.

In addition, children who have undergone surgery to correct craniosynostosis endoscopy to correct a craniofacial disorder will often be prescribed helmet therapy for the first year after surgery to further correct the shape of the head.

Does my child need to wear the helmet all day?

Yes. The idea behind the helmet is that it is worn 23 hours a day. It can be taken off during bathing. The rest of the time, your infant should constantly be in the helmet — whether playing, sleeping, or feeding. This can be shocking to hear as a parent as you think of your baby’s formative months being spent wearing a helmet. One thing we like to emphasize is that the helmet is usually not uncomfortable for the baby.

How long will my child wear a helmet?

The average treatment with a helmet is usually lasts from three to six months. The amount of time your child will wear a helmet depends on their age and severity of their condition. Careful and frequent monitoring is required to ensure that the skull is reshaping correctly. Helmets must be prescribed by a licensed physician.

How often will we need to see the orthotist while undergoing helmet therapy?

The frequency of follow-up visits depends on the severity of your child’s condition and your child’s age. Typically, follow up visits are scheduled every two or three weeks throughout treatment. As your child is being fitted with a molding helmet, and adjustments are made, you will most likely require several visits to ensure the effectiveness of treatment.

Our commitment to your little one and you is that we will do our best to make these visits as pleasant and unobtrusive as possible