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Pricey remedy for baby’s ‘flat head’ is no help, study says

Pricey remedy for baby’s ‘flat head’ is no help, study says

Source: Seattle Times

Pediatricians have long urged parents to put newborns to sleep on their backs to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome. While the practice undoubtedly has saved lives, it also has increased the numbers of babies with flattened skulls. Roughly 1 baby in 5 under the age of 6 months develops a skull deformation caused by lying in a supine position. Now a study has found that a common remedy for the problem, a pricey custom-made helmet worn by infants, in most cases produces no more improvement in skull shape than doing nothing at all. The new report, published May 1 in the journal BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), is the first randomized trial of the helmets. The authors found “virtually no treatment effect,” said Dr. Brent R. Collett, an investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and author of an accompanying editorial.