Cranial remolding is a type of therapy that can help moderate to severe cases of head shape abnormalities in children. This may include flattened areas on one side of your baby’s head or on the back your infant’s head. The conditions are treatable and most common in children between the ages of 3 months and 18 months old.
These conditions are typically caused by:
- The position of the baby while in the womb.
- The amount of time a baby spends on his back in his crib, baby swing or carrier.
- Torticollis, a condition in which a neck muscle is tight and limits a baby’s head motion.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is a leader in cranial remolding and the treatment of children with congenital muscular torticollis. Our Plagiocephaly Severity Scale was published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery and accepted nationwide as the standard of care. We are engaged in ongoing research and lecture at meetings across the country and around the world.
In the Cranial Remodeling Program at Children’s, we treat:
- Plagiocephaly, or a flattening of an infant’s head on one side
- Brachycephaly, or a flattening that is mostly straight across the back of the head
- Asymmetrical brachycephaly, or an excessively wide head with asymmetry
- Scaphocephaly, or a long, narrow head
- Congenital muscular torticollis, or a tilting of the head to one side or another due to a shortening of certain muscles
These illustrations show you what to look out for.
The Children’s Orthotics and Prosthetics Program offers specialized care from an experienced pediatric team. We provide comprehensive assessment and education by a board-certified pediatric orthotist, prosthetist or physical therapist, as well as education on developmentally appropriate ways to encourage self-correction for your child’s cranial condition.
Treatment options may include:
- Repositioning techniques you can practice with your child
- Watchful observation of your child
- Physical therapy
- A cranial remolding helmet
Half of our patients who are referred for evaluation do not require a helmet due to our focus on prevention, education, monitoring and team treatment. For example, our team educates around the importance of tummy time to help prevent flat spots on the head or tight head and neck muscles that can lead to congenital muscular torticollis. If a cranial remolding helmet is needed, it is our goal to complete treatment with one helmet. We answer your questions and provide you with all you need to know so that you can properly apply and care for your child’s helmet. We will closely monitor changes in your baby’s head shape to track progress.
What cranial remolding technology is available?
- The STARscanner records 3D information about your baby’s head shape. It’s safe, noninvasive and takes less than two seconds to complete. The scan provides data that our orthotists and doctors use to monitor changes in your baby’s head shape. The STARscanner eliminates the need for making plaster casts of the infant’s head. STARscanners are located at the Children's at Duluth, Children's at Fayette, Children's at Forsyth, Children's at Meridian Mark, and Children's at Town Center Outpatient Care Center locations.
- The STARband cranial remolding orthosis is a thermoplastic shell with a soft foam liner, custom-molded to your baby’s head shape. The STARscanner provides the information needed to create a custom-made shell for your child. As your child grows, the orthosis acts as a guide to gradually allow the head to reshape. Most babies adjust easily to wearing a helmet.
Cranial Remolding Helmet: Proper Fit and Care
Proper fit and care are important for your child’s cranial remolding helmet
Learn the tips to properly take care of your child’s cranial remolding helmet, whether he is wearing it or not, and what to look out for to help ensure a proper fit.
Does My Baby Have Flat Head Syndrome?
If you think your baby has flat head syndrome, schedule an appointment with a specialist. Early treatment could prevent the need for a baby cranial helmet.
Researched Strategies to Help Effectively Treat CMT
Colleen Coulter, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS, Physical Therapist at Children’s, recently co-authored a research study with strategies to effectively treat Congenital Muscular Torticollis.
5 Ways to Prevent a Flat Head in Your Baby
Because babies should always sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS, they’re at risk of developing flat heads. Here’s how to guard against that.
We provide assessment and treatment at multiple convenient metro Atlanta locations.
Children's at Forsyth
The Collection at Forsyth
410 Peachtree Parkway
Cumming, GA 30041
Center for Advanced Pediatrics
1400 Tullie Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Children's at Meridian's Mark
5445 Meridian Mark Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
Children’s at Duluth
2270 Duluth Highway 120
Duluth, GA 30097
Children's at Old Milton Parkway
3300 Old Milton Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30005
Children's at Town Center Outpatient Care Center
605 Big Shanty Road NW
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Children's at Fayette
1265 Highway 54 West, Suite 200
Fayetteville, GA 30214