Helmets Do Little to Help Moderate Infant Skull Flattening, Study Finds
Pediatricians have long urged parents to put newborns to sleep on their backs to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome. While the practice undoubtedly has saved lives, it also has increased the numbers of babies with flattened skulls.
Roughly one baby in five under the age of 6 months develops a skull deformation caused by lying in a supine position. Now a study has found that a common remedy for the problem, an expensive custom-made helmet worn by infants, in most cases produces no more improvement in skull shape than doing nothing at all.
The new report, published Thursday in the journal BMJ, is the first randomized trial of the helmets. The authors found “virtually no treatment effect,” said Brent R. Collett, an investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and author of an accompanying editorial.
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