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Flat Head Syndrome

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You may have noticed sporadic images in the press of the cutest looking babies wearing specially fitted helmets.

Such helmets are commonly used when babies are born with slightly misshapen heads, a medical condition referred to as deformational plagiocephaly. Sometimes known as ‘flat head syndrome’, it is a common condition and occurs when external force causes a baby’s head to take on an abnormal shape.

It is characterised by the flattening of one side of the back of the head and can be noticeable from birth, or present itself in the first few months of life. Research also suggests that there may be links to auditory, visual and developmental problems later in life.

This is a situation that is experienced by many parents across the UK every day – and one of the world’s leading treatment centres for this condition and other head shape abnormalities is Steeper Clinic, which is based in Marylebone, London.


Head Clinical Specialist Orthotist at Steeper Clinic, Kate Chauhan, explains:

“Instances of plagiocephaly have increased dramatically in the UK over the last few years, but there is still a lack of knowledge amongst many health professionals and parents about the condition.

“At Steeper Clinic, we provide free consultations for parents from across the UK on the best treatment option for their child. We can recommend treatments including repositioning techniques and if necessary, can provide a clinically effective programme of treatment through STARband helmets, which have been successfully used all over the world.” Tina Ashton’s one year old child, Samuel, was diagnosed with plagiocephaly in June after he developed a nasty cold and conjunctivitis and she took him to a GP.

She was told that her son’s head was not the shape it should be and if it didn’t improve by the time Sam was 18 months old, there was a chance it would stay that way.

The GP suggested making an appointment with SteeperClinic to gauge the severity of Sam’s condition. When the family visited the clinic in July, tests revealed the asymmetry of Sam’s head was 23.3mm – 12mm is classed as a severe case. The treatment needed meant fitting Sam with a helmet, costing £2,000, which needs to be worn for 23 hours a day, over six months.


Now Tina is calling on health chiefs to do more for the treatment of ‘flat head syndrome’:

“The results have been amazing. Sam got used to the helmet very quickly. We’re already starting to see a visible change in the shape of his head, and we couldn’t be happier with what Steeper Clinic has done for us.”

“I really feel that the NHS should be offering some sort of funding to help parents throughout the UK.”

STARband is the leading orthotic treatment for deformational plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) in babies aged between 4 and 18 months. Over 125,000 babies have been successfully treated using STARband worldwide.

Steeper Clinic is located at the Bendall Mews Consulting Rooms, 6 Bendall Mews, Marylebone, City of Westminster, London, NW1 6SN.

For further information on the clinic, or for information on plagiocephaly and treatment options, please visit www.steeperclinic.com.

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