Why Dr's recommend supervised tummy time?
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Roughly 47% of children under the age of 18 months develop position head deformities like plagiocephaly. Commonly referred to as “flat head syndrome”, babies who develop this condition form a flat spot on the head caused from lying down or resting the head on hard surfaces. This will deform the skull and may potentially rearrange facial features. The long term effects of this condition and similar deformities, if left untreated, can include jaw misalignment, poorly fitting sports safety equipment, and noticeable facial asymmetry among other issues.
Due to the soft nature of a child’s skull during the first 18 months of life, it is highly malleable and, fortunately, can be moved into a more natural position with the use of cranial helmets. A cranial helmet is designed to hold the bones of the skull in place as they fuse together and harden. A helmet made with a hard outer shell and a soft foam lining offers a comfortable fit while as well as stability. With the helmet on a child may lay their head on a hard surface without the risk of further flat spot growth. The skull will instead grow with a more natural shape and structure.
The helmet is typically worn for the duration of the day with the exception of bathing times. Omega scanners can capture a 3-dimensional image of the head with an accuracy of up to 0.5mm. With the use of these scanners, the head can be precisely measured and a helmet can be made to the exact proportions of the child’s head. This allows for proper fitting which in turn leads to proper skull formation. Along with natural cranial growth the child will experience more comfort with a fitted helmet.