When did you notice Olivia’s flat spot?
At about four months I started to notice. Especially when her hair is wet, I started to notice how flat her head was at the back, especially towards the neck.
I went to the GP who told me not to worry. At about five and a half months her head was still flat. I then went to another GP who referred me to a Podiatrist. It was then I realised the lack of knowledge GP’s in Australia have about flat heads, plagiocephaly, and brachycephaly.
I went online and did a lot of research, there was limited knowledge and information available. I went back to the GP with the name of the clinic where I needed to go.
Before deciding to get a helmet, did you try anything else?
Yep, we did repositioning therapy it was really hard. The lack of sleep due to repositioning during the night, getting up what feels like 100 times a night was hard work.
She’s is a really good sleeper, she can sleep for 12 hours straight without waking up, which is the cause to her flat head.
Why did you decide to go ahead with helmet treatment?
We looked at her and could see the flat spot, her number on the severity scale was mild, but it looked severe.
I didn’t want her to get to fifteen and then have a dodgy head, I worried about her needing glasses when she’s older and them not fitting.
Other helmets look thick, this one is thin and light, she barely notices it.
On the support group, I see a lot of questions for advice on how to get the smell out. We don’t have to worry about that at all with Serkel helmets. The liner has lasted really well, I’m not sure I’ve even changed it yet.
What was the response from family members, other parents, or strangers in public?
I got lots of questions, I put a post on Facebook just explaining she was getting a helmet and what it was all for, just to let people know. I received a lot of support.
People say it’s cute and I can accessorise it, a few people asked about seizures. But most of the time it’s cute comments, real people don’t know about it.
I love the helmet she looks cute.
How long did it take for Olivia to get used to the helmet?
Olivia likes having it on. She can bump her head and doesn’t worry about it and neither do we. She’s going to start thinking she’s indestructible. She naps longer with the helmet on, it’s almost like a sense of security for her.
She enjoys the helmet; we can see she almost gets upset when we take it off and excited when we pull it out to put it back on again.
If you could offer any advice to any other family in the position you were in, what would you say?
If you’re thinking about it, if it’s keeping you up at night then just go ahead and get an assessment. You are your child’s biggest advocate, they can’t speak for themselves, so you need to do it for them. Trust your gut. You know what is best for them, it’s your child.
How is Olivia progressing with treatment?
She already looks amazing and she’s had the helmet for three and a half weeks. She’s been going through a growth spurt and I measured her head circumference the other day and it’s increased by 2cm already.
She’s currently wearing the helmet 23 hours a day. She’s looking pretty normal, I’m super impressed with it, her head is really rounding.
The plan with the Orthotist is to keep wearing it until she’s almost one. I might as well and she’s continued sleeping on her back, I don’t want to do all this work now and see her regress.