Helmet Therapy using Serkel Helmets
Are you concerned about the shape of your baby’s head?
Auckland Orthotics provides helmet therapy using Serkel helmets to treat babies between 4 and 12 months of age for asymmetrical head shapes, such as positional plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. At Auckland Orthotics we have been offering and providing this service since 2021.
Babies are often born with a misshaped head which normally corrects within the first six weeks after birth. However sometimes babies go on to develop ‘flat spots’ which if not identified and managed early can be difficult to correct.
Auckland Children’s Physiotherapy provides a range of assessment and treatment services for babies with a misshapen head. They will do the initial assessment and then if they assess that helmet therapy could be an option they will refer you onto us here at Auckland Orthotics.
Auckland Children’s Physiotherapy services start with an assessment of your baby’s head, from which they aim to provide you with comprehensive information about your baby’s head shape and allow you to make an informed decision about treatment options.
What is a Serkel Helmet and how do they work?
Serkel Helmets are 3D printed, providing an accurate mould of your baby’s head with space for the flattened area to grow. The Serkel helmet works by artificially relieving pressure over the flat spot. Once the pressure is relieved from the weight of the head being in the same spot, the bone starts to grow rounding the head out. The helmets don’t squeeze the skull back into shape, rather they redirect the growth to fill out the flattened area.
Serkel helmets are unique in that they are lightweight allowing them to be used on babies from 4 months of age upward, increasing the opportunity to correctively treat during the peak growth period of your baby’s skull. The helmets are breathable with improved ventilation and use changeable liners. Serkel helmets require fewer changes than the traditional helmets used in NZ and Australia, making them significantly less expensive as a treatment option.
We see Serkel helmets as similar to teeth braces. They help improve your head shape for the future. The future of wearing safety helmets (bicycle helmets), sunglasses or reading glasses. They future proof your child’s three-dimensional depth perception and help ensure an even jaw alignment.
What's the Helmet Therapy process?
If you are concerned about your baby’s head shape, the first step is to book an assessment with Auckland Children’s Physiotherapy. Their comprehensive assessment process is designed to provide you with all the information about your baby’s head shape and to enable you to make an informed decision about your treatment choices.
If your baby meets the criteria for a Serkel helmet and you want to proceed, they complete a referral to us here at Auckland Orthotics.
Once your child has been accepted for a Serkel helmet, then the process is very quick. A 3-D image is taken by Auckland Orthotics, which is sent to Australia. In a few weeks, the completed custom fit mould will be returned from Australia and fitted by the specialist Orthotist at Auckland Orthotics.
Once your baby has been fitted, the helmet will be worn for 23 hours per day for 3-4 months until the treatment is no longer required. Regular follow-up will be required to ensure the therapeutic benefits and adjustments are made as needed in response to your baby’s improvements.
The benefits of Serkel Helmets
- Light-weight helmets enable earlier treatment at a younger age
- Adjustable to improve comfort and allows for growth
- Breathable materials ad interchangeable liners help improve your baby's comfort
- More affordable as fewer Helmets are required than traditional Helmets