As parents of newborns have been following pediatric recommendations of putting their babies to sleep on their backs to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, there has been a steep rise in babies with misshapen skulls. Now, doctors have increased prescribing orthotic headgear to correct the condition among infants.
As many as 47 percent of infants have found to have some degree of the condition called brachycephaly – when an infant’s skull flattens after prolonged periods of laying on its back.
Carly Aly was not surprised that her four-and-a-half-month-old triplets would need orthotic helmets: misshapen skulls are not uncommon for multiple births, who have less room to move around when babies are in utero.
“From my recollection, there was not a lot of movement for them past about 24-ish weeks,” she said. “Every time we went back to the doctor, they were in the exact same place. So, I had done a lot of reading that that can contribute to these issues.”
Last week, Aly and her nanny, Linda Gomez, took the triplets – Camille, Adam and Sofia – for their first fitting at Cranial Technologies, which specializes in the orthotic helmets. All three of them got helmets made of a lightweight, white, plastic shell lined with a soft foam, held snugly in place with a Velcro strap.
Parents looking to dress up the helmets with colorful decals – like for a football player, or a princess – will have to spend extra, about $100 a pop. Aly said the babies will do without that touch.
A few weeks earlier, they were measured with high-tech machines to build custom-made plastic helmets.