Wearing a helmet to correct a cranial deformity can be an emotional struggle for younger children. If your toddler is undergoing helmet therapy, you can ease the process by helping them decorate their helmet in a way that shows their personality. Although they are still very small, by the time your little one starts helmet therapy, they are already showing hints of who they will be when they grow up. In this article, we’ll go over how you can help your child to pick a helmet design or color that they love.
Don’t Obsess Over Matching
Chances are that you purchased your child’s clothing based on what you think is cute. That’s wonderful, and guaranteed to keep them looking good when you are out and about. It doesn’t mean that the clothes you picked match their personality, however. If your child requires a helmet, don’t worry about choosing a color that coordinates with their wardrobe, or one that you think matches their outfits best. Try to find a color or design that matches their interests, or favorite color.
This might seem trivial, but remember that toddlers are strong-willed. By helping your child pick a helmet they love, you make it a fun experience. They won’t dread wearing it, and they won’t raise a fuss – after all, it matches who they are. Pick a helmet that matches their wardrobe but clashes with their likes at the moment, and you’ll face struggles for months.
More Than One
Cranial orthotics aren’t cheap, but if you can afford it, buy more than one helmet for each stage of the process. This gives you double the choices in design and color, a backup for accidental spills, and a helmet that your child can wear while you clean their other one.
Put Their Name On It
Young babies and toddlers are fascinated with their own names. Recognizing their name is a special thing – it gives them the basis for building an identity. If you put your child’s name on their helmet and tell them what is says, that it means the helmet belongs to them and no one else, they’ll love it.
Apart from names and preset patterns or colors offered by some helmet and band companies, there are many artists who will happily paint your child’s helmet to match their personality. If you have a friend or relative who is a good artist, you might ask them to do this for you, or do it yourself. A person who knows your child and their personality can produce a result that really matches who they are. From Superman to Cinderella, the sky is the limit where customizing helmets is concerned.
Check out the following resources for customizing your child’s cranial orthotics:
Picking Color Palettes
There is some science to the use of pastels for girls and bolder colors for boys – the female eye has stronger color perception than the male eye. If you have a little boy, stick with bold and bright colors unless you notice that your little one often seeks out pastels. For girls, use a softer color palette, as brighter colors may create anxiety. If your little girl loves bright, bold colors however, use them instead.
Modern helmet decorations include funny taglines like “Fixin’ my melon” or “Just fixing my flat.” Including a fun phrase like this, or adding fun fake pigtails or a fake mohawk can help your child get a laugh when they look at photos from their infancy. This can ease some of the self-consciousness that wearing a helmet can cause (although it is very rare – most kids grow up fully-adjusted and without any lingering self-consciousness from helmet use), and also makes it easy to ward off the curious glances and comments from strangers.
Keep helmet wearing fun and kid-friendly by following the tips above. Your little one will thank you, and you won’t face an ornery toddler who refuses to wear his or her helmet. Just remember, for the next several months, your child’s helmet is part of their identity. Let them have a good time with it.