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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.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

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