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Starband for flat head syndrome

(15 Posts)
ceal Wed 01-Oct-08 21:16:19


I am thinking of having this done, please could someone who has had this done give me some feedback on how successfull it was...or not.

Any info will be much appreciated.


mrslurkalot Wed 01-Oct-08 21:50:25

Hi ceal,

My DS had/has plagiocephaly. His head was very obviously 'wonky'. We noticed this when he was around 12 weeks. We had several meetings with a consultant at our local hospital who said lots of very unsatisfactory things like 'his hair will grow and it will be less obvious' - thanks! It was clear that funding for a band was not available on the NHS and although we were willing to pay to go private our consultant was very against 'banding' and in the end we agreed to wait 6 months to see if it improved. In that time we made loads of effort to make sure he had 'tummy time', moved his sleeping position so that his head was not in just one position, and that he didn't look in one direction too much when he was lying down. 6 months later there had been a slight improvement so we decided not to go for a band.
He is now 3.5 and I can honestly say you cannot tell he has/had a problem. If his hair is wet and I look from above I can still see his head is flat on one side but I really don't think anyone else would notice.
I just wanted to let you know because I was so worried at the time!
I hope that someone who has had a band for their child responds as well. x

tinytalker Thu 02-Oct-08 00:15:41

I don't have any experience of this I'm afraid but I know that when I went to the London Baby show last year there was a company offering this service and they had a stand so you could talk to the company and get their advice and ask questions. The Baby Show is on again in London on 17, 18, 19 October. If you do a web search you can find a list of exhibitors and see if the company are attending again this year.
Hope this helps.

jabberwocky Thu 02-Oct-08 02:38:48

ceal, there are several threads on this in the archives. I have been on many if you want to type in jabberwocky and plagiocephaly. I can tell you there are several posters who didn't use a helmet and did live to regret it. In fact at least one of them is currently have surgical evaluation for her child soon. If you use the helmet correctly I think the success rate is quite high although I can't list statistics off the top of my head. We did very aggressive positioning therapy with ds1 and got to the point that dh was fine with it and we agreed not to band. Personally, I probably would have gone ahead as I am just that way. Now that he has hair I am probably the only one who knows there is still a flat spot.

Anyway, there is a very finite window for you to do this so you can't mess around with waiting for very long. I believe 6 months is still the standard for making a decision. There should be information regarding that on the Starband website. I am in the US and it seems to be done more often than in the UK, perhaps b/c of insurance issues?

jabberwocky Thu 02-Oct-08 02:39:39

"having" an evaluation


ceal Thu 02-Oct-08 10:11:17

Thanks so much for your input, it seems to be a very hard decission to make

Nbg Thu 02-Oct-08 10:25:37

Hi Ceal
I am still thinking about this for my 9 month old.
I've had alot of negative comments from the HV and Drs and they don't recommend it/don't believe it etc.

One of the mums at school has a baby who is a day older than my ds2 and he has a helmet from Starband.
She was saying that it has made a difference already.
There is also another poster on here who I have emailed about it but I can't remember her posting name blush.
She got the helmet for her dd but I think like everyone else had the same response from her GP.

castlesintheair Thu 02-Oct-08 10:36:17

Ceal, I think Jabber may be referring to my DS who is awaiting an appointment to see a neurological surgeon. He is nearly 7. We were also told by every doctor, paed, hv that his head would correct itself naturally. One even said this would happen even if he lay on his back for 6 months. You have to go privately as far as I know and the NHS (and even many private consultants) and quite anti the treatment.

Personally, I would make an appointment to see a band place (sorry can't remember what they are called) and they will measure your DC's plagio. I'm pretty sure you don't have to pay for this. If it is mild/medium then it may well correct itself especially if you do repositioning. If it is severe then I'd get a helmet/band. They are a pita (I had one for a while for DD2) but you see results very quickly and imo it is worth it if you want to avoid the problems which we are (possibly) about to undergo with DS. His problems which are related to the plagio are not just cosmetic btw.

Gumbo Thu 02-Oct-08 10:41:25

My nephew's head is quite seriously misshapen. When he was about 6 months old SIL and her girfriend thought seriously about a helmet, spoke to a consultant about it etc. However, they decided that his hair etc would cover it, and chose not to do it.

He's now 3.5, and his head is really noticable (the whole face is sort of 'offset'). SIL's girlfriend admits that she regrets not doing it (they have loads of money, so it wasn't a cost issue - they were just concerned about their ds looking a bit daft at the time).

I think it depends on how bad the head looks in the 1st place. If it is bad, I'd definitely do it (having seen my nephew), but if it's just a bit flat at the back then it true that the hair will largely cover it.

eclectech Thu 02-Oct-08 10:42:42

We have a GP who is quite in favour. He told me about some 'pushy parents' who had managed to get one through the NHS* and he'd been very impressed with the results.

No direct experience but thought this might be of interest.

* in Scotland, in case that's relevant, and possibly involving some special grant.

jabberwocky Thu 02-Oct-08 15:24:01

Re: hair covering it - one of my arguments with dh is that male pattern baldness runs in my family and I didn't want ds1 to feel self-conscious if/when he lost his hair.

jabberwocky Thu 02-Oct-08 15:44:09

castles, I didn't know if you were just keeping that information on our post-natal thread or not so didn't want to use your name.

ceal Thu 02-Oct-08 17:31:42

Thanks again, I think I'll go for the assesment to see how bad it really is (It looks bad to me....but we'll see what the scan says.

castlesintheair Thu 02-Oct-08 18:18:37

Just one thing Ceal, even if the plagio is mild they will try and push you to go for the band. I'd only go for it if it's medium to severe unless the face is affected. You could then get your DC's neck checked to make sure there is no torticillis and do the radical repositioning Jabberwocky talks about.

If the face is asymmetrical (re Gumbo's post) or the ears are not aligned then I'd go for it. My DS's head is only flat at the back and there is slight asymmetry but it is also at the back so not noticeable front on but even this could be causing him some problems.

At the end of the day, it's a maximum of 6 months in a band versus a lifetime of potential problems/embarrassment. DD2 was in a band for 2 months and it completely corrected her mild asymmetry in that time. With hindsight, I could have left it to correct naturally but didn't want to risk it because of DS's history

Oops, that's 3 long things! But I hth.

Thanks Jabber smile Yes, also male pattern baldness a big consideration.

likessleep Sat 04-Oct-08 10:27:03

My 11 month old son is currently in a band - he started off with moderate plagio and is now down to 3mm (we are due to finish in a couple of weeks, yay!).

The pros:
They do seem to work quickly
They do not hurt the child and aren't invasive (they channel new growth, rather than changing existing shape)

The cons:
The first week or so in them can be a very tough learning curve - you start gradually building up the time in the hat and whilst it doesn't hurt, the baby has to get used to the feeling. Our DSs sleep was affected for a while
Your baby can get red marks / sores when the hat starts to rub (the consultants shave off the lining as the head grows)
It is a faff - it needs cleaning twice a day
You have to go for regular reviews - and the time and cost associated with this
People stare - blatantly and that is tough (but in the grand scheme of things, unimportant)

I am so glad we have gone for treatment (although I am counting down the days until it is over). His head looks totally different and I am so glad we have done something in time. No mum wants to band their child, but longer term, we felt it justified it.

Good luck with whatever your choice.
I will add that the clinics we went to didn't push us into going for helmet treatment. They measured DS and explained how the helmet works, told us to go and try repositioning for a while and go back if it was still bothering us.

The earlier you do it, the quicker and more dramatic results you are like to get.

Good luck xx

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