Aileen Castle 12

Plagiocephaly treatment for babies on the NHS

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Plagiocephaly is a condition affecting a baby's skull causing it to take on an abnormal shape. It can characterised by the flattening of the back or one side of the head. It can be noticeable from birth or it can appear in the first few weeks or months of a baby's life. The Back to sleep campaign saw doctors, midwife's and Health Visitors recommend that all babies sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death). Whilst this is great advice,this has lead to an increase of conditions such as plagiocephaly & brachycephaly, it should therefore be accompanied with advice on tummy time and re-positioning which can help prevent these conditions. If a baby's head is not responding to re-positioning it should be recognised and treatment should be considered using a special baby helmet to redirect head growth to improve proportion and symmetry. The NHS does not currently fund treatment because it believes that it is a purely cosmetic condition. In moderate/ severe cases there is an increased risk of developing problems with vision, jaw alignment, hearing & speech. Simple things like wearing glasses or a cycle helmet may prove difficult or impossible a child may also suffer bulling at school, because they 'look different'. This is not cosmetic treatment it is essential treatment and should be available to all babies on the NHS.

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