Lately we’ve been getting a lot of questions about why our child wears such an unusual helmet. The questions are pouring in like a hailstorm, on the street, in the store, at the airport, and pretty much everywhere else we go. And I get even more questions on social media in the form of comments on photos.
Most people are driven by normal human curiosity and I understand that, but sometimes even my resilience comes to an end and I get nervous. Usually this happens when I am partly rebuked, saying that “the poor kid has no rest for his head”, “isn’t it bad for his hearing”, “isn’t it bad for his eyesight” or just give out some nonsense like “are you preparing him for astronauts?”
And the surprising fact is that the closest people do not ask questions, believing that if I have not explained what is what, then there is no need to ask.
This is a big lesson for me and I will think a hundred times now before I ask a person these kinds of questions and satisfy my curiosity.
And most importantly, WHY is a child wearing a helmet (now I will link to this post for every question on the web:)
The human skull consists of several plates (at the junction of these plates are the so-called “fontanelles” or soft spots). In the first months of life, the baby’s head grows very fast, which is provided by the mobility of these plates. When these plates fuse together prematurely, the head grows in the wrong direction and becomes deformed. In medical circles, this “condition” is called Craniosynostosis and occurs in about 1 in 2500 children. The causes are still unknown. In most cases, the problem is purely cosmetic, although syndromic cases occur (in these cases, the child has not only a cosmetic deformity of the head, but also the presence of other pathologies).
Craniosynostosis is corrected by surgery, the sooner the better. In neglected cases children have increased intracranial pressure, visual impairment, etc.
Our child “drew the lucky ticket” and was diagnosed with Sagital Craniosynostosis at 1.5 months.
Thanks to noticing it fairly early, we had the option of surgery. The choices were as follows:
Conventional open surgery – 6 hours on the operating table, scar from ear to ear, skull correction with screws and plates, more blood loss and, accordingly, more blood transfusions, a stay in the hospital for 6 days and longer recovery, instant correction of the head shape.
Innovative endoscopic surgery – 2.5 hours on the operating table, two small scars of 3-4 cm each, less blood loss and fewer transfusions, hospital stay of 3 days and slightly faster recovery. BUT, since this surgery does not use screws and stuff, the doctors “stimulate” the growth of the head in the right direction. This requires a helmet, which, in our case, limits the growth of the head in length and stimulates the growth of the head in width. A kind of braces, but not for the teeth, but for the head.
The helmet must be worn for an average of 6-9 months, depending on the results, which are monitored every 3 weeks with the doctor.
After weighing the pros and cons, we were naturally guided by what was best for the baby and chose endoscopic surgery, which Ben had at 3 months.
And now Ben wears a helmet. 23 hours a day. We take it off only for bath time and half an hour in the morning to rest his head.
And this is done by doctor’s orders, not because we are idiot parents afraid of dropping him or training him to be a hockey player.