When did you realise Finn had a flat head?
Finn was born with a flat side on his head and we picked it up at two days old. We tried to fix it with reposition therapy but didn’t really see any improvement, it was a lot of work to keep moving him. We went to the physio to check he didn’t have torticollis and bought lights to try and distract him, we didn’t use a pillow because of SIDS but nothing seemed to work.
We decided a helmet was the best option, I can sleep easy knowing it will rectify itself without me having to keep moving him.
Did you worry about anything when you were thinking about helmet therapy?
My dad is bald, I worried Finn might be bald when he’s older and I didn’t want him to be bald with a funny shaped head. Children can be mean; I didn’t want him to be at school with a funny head and bullied
I had a friend who has a daughter with a flat head, they went through the public system and had to wait until her child was one year old. Helmeting so late meant it hardly changed their daughter head at all.
I focused on the bigger picture, I would rather do something now than a lifetime with an odd-shaped head, so kept thinking about his future.
How did Finns older sister respond to the helmet?
We got her a bike helmet at the same time, so she wasn’t left out. We explained to her the helmet was for Finn’s head to make it better and explained a little bit about it. She’s three and the helmet has probably protected him for her dragging him around.
The interface was fantastic and gave us a booklet to take home prior to getting the helmet. This meant we were able to show it to my daughter and explain it, so she knew what was going to happen.
Why did you decide to go private for your helmet treatment?
We went to the doctors at four months old, they referred us to the Children’s hospital who sent us away until he was to turn one.
We then decided to go private and the experience with Interface Orthotics was fabulous, just amazing, they made it so easy and explained everything. We felt really prepared prior to him getting the helmet.
Interface mentioned we came in at the perfect time for his growth, we wouldn’t have started any sooner than at about five months, the sooner you do start the better it is as you have the head growth advantage so you can shape the head much better.
How did you feel about getting a helmet?
My heart sank a bit when we found out we needed a helmet, at the end of the day there’s nothing we could have done to change it. At the start you’re a little bit self-conscious, I got over it, I don’t let things like that bother me.
I was emotional when we got told, but everything is ok and for the greater good, long term the right decision. It has already improved over such a short period of time.
My husband was going to leave it, but now is happy we did go ahead, it’s such an improvement. Everything is ok, the helmet doesn’t affect everyday life for him or us.
What was the practical impact of wearing a helmet?
Cuddling with the helmet was a bit harsher, you want to kiss your kid on the head, and you must get used to the helmet being there. It was an easy journey, it’s easy to easily put on and off, easy to clean, easy to put the liners in a bag in the washing machine.
At the start it was difficult, just getting used to taking the helmet on and off. Not quite knowing how much to squeeze over his head, but it didn’t bother him at all, no scratches, no bruises.
If you could offer any family thinking about a helmet or your past-self advice, what would you say?
It’s not as bad as I thought it would be emotionally, I thought it would be hard, but it doesn’t hold us back at all.
We went on holiday and it was fine, I think he’ll like wearing hats and beanies in the future, unlike my daughter. Now he doesn’t know any different and just gets on with it.
We got a lot of support from family and friends, but there is a big lack of awareness and it’s difficult to find information especially through the public system.