Auckland Children’s Physiotherapy is now providing helmet therapy using Serkel helmet’s to treat babies between 4 and 12 months of age for asymmetrical head shapes, such as positional plagiocephaly and brachycephaly.
Babies are often born with a misshaped head which normally corrects within the first six weeks after birth. However sometimes babies go on to develop ‘flat spots’ which if not identified and managed early can be difficult to correct.
Auckland Children’s Physiotherapy provides a range of assessment and treatment services for babies with a misshapen head, which now includes Helmet Therapy using Serkel Helmets. Our services start with an assessment of your baby’s head, from which we aim to provide you with comprehensive information about your baby’s head shape and allow you to make an informed decision about treatment choices.
Serkel Helmets are 3D printed, providing an accurate mould of your baby’s head with space for the flattened area to grow. The Serkel helmet works by artificially relieving pressure over the flat spot. Once the pressure is relieved from the weight of the head being in the same spot, the bone starts to grow rounding the head out. The helmets don’t squeeze the skull back into shape, rather they redirect the growth to fill out the flattened area.
Serkel helmets are unique in that they are lightweight allowing them to be used on baby’s from 4 months of age upward, increasing the opportunity to correctively treat during the peak growth period of your baby’s skull. The helmets are breathable with improved ventilation and use changeable inserts that also can be adjusted rather than recast to compensate for growth. Serkel helmets therefore require fewer changes than the traditional helmets used in NZ and Australia, making them significantly less expensive as a treatment option.
We see Serkel helmets as similar to teeth braces. They help improve your head shape for the future. The future of wearing safety helmets (bicycle helmets), sunglasses or reading glasses. They future proof your child’s three dimensional depth perception and help ensure an even jaw alignment.
If you are concerned about your baby’s head shape, the first step is to book an assessment with us at Auckland Children’s Physiotherapy. Our comprehensive assessment process is designed to provide you with all the information about your baby’s head shape and to enable you to make an informed decision about your treatment choices.
If your baby meets the criteria for a Serkle helmet and you want to proceed, we complete a referral to Auckland Orthotics.
Once your child has been accepted for a Serkle helmet, then the process is very quick. A 3-D image is taken by Auckland Orthotics, which is sent to Australia. In a few weeks, the completed custom fit mould will be returned from Australia and fitted by our specialist Orthotist at Auckland Orthotics.
Once your baby has been fitted, the helmet will be worn for 23 hours per day for 3-4 months until the treatment is no longer required. Regular follow-up will be recommended to ensure the therapeutic benefits and adjustments are made as needed in response to your baby’s improvements.
Light-weight helmets enable earlier treatment at a younger age
Adjustable to improve comfort and allows for growth
Breathable materials and interchangeable liners help improves your baby’s comfort
More affordable as fewer Helmets are required than traditional Helmets