If your child has positional plagiocephaly, you’re aware of the struggle involved in helping them to recover normal head shape. The internal conflicts you wage with yourself, and sometimes, the fighting that erupts between you and your partner. The blame game is no one’s friend. That’s why many parents are active in efforts to educate others about the condition, and in promoting potential solutions.
Evidently, the medical establishment is starting to pay attention.
Invictus, a medical device manufacturing company, recently filed to register a new device that can – assuming it works – take some of the stress off of new parents whose children are at high risk for positional plagiocephaly. The device is a gel pad that is swaddled in a thin, flexible, cap. Called GelShield, its entire purpose is the prevention of positional plagiocephaly.
The company expects that GelShield will be useful in the prevention of pressure ulcers and other cranial complications, as well. Primary clients will most likely be neonatal and preemie units in hospitals, although parents may have access to the device, depending on how the FDA regulates it and Invictus chooses to market it.
New innovations like GelShield, the Mimos pillow, and The Plagio Cradle are signs of a change in the approach to plagiocephaly care. Greater parent education and the development of prevention-geared products can help to significantly lower the number of children who develop this condition.
It’s a good sign, but not the only one. Parents of children with positional cranial deformities are making the news more frequently as a result of Kickstarter campaigns, local fundraisers, and other crowd funding approaches to treating their child’s condition. Crowd funding does more than help parents get treatment for their child, however. It provides an educational platform. A way for individuals whose children have positional cranial deformities to educate the general public about the condition.
If your child has plagiocephaly, please share your story. When we speak up, we can keep other children from developing the condition.
The problem with most methods of head shape correction is that they aren’t proven – there are very few studies on the subject that actually stand up to scrutiny. Until repeatable and high-quality research is available on positional plagiocephaly, its long-term effects, and treatment options, prevention is what we have to work with as parents.
Recent research on positional brachycephaly shows that the condition may lead to problems later in life, including TMJ and sleep apnea. In a 2010 study, researchers suggested the potential for behavioral conditions to develop as a result of positional plagiocephaly.
A study published this year questioned the value of helmets, and many other devices that appear promising are either still being tested (and thus aren’t available on the market, or maybe available exclusively overseas.) Once, surgery was common. Time has shown that to be a dangerous, potentially deadly, treatment option that is no longer practiced.
Sharing your story is the push that drives companies like Invictus to create devices geared towards the prevention of positional plagiocephaly. It’s working. Don’t stop now. There are families and young children who can benefit from hearing what you and your child have been through.
If you’re willing to share the story of your child with the world, let me know. I’d be glad to interview you and post your child’s experiences here on www.babyflathead.org.