Race against time to fund helmet for baby's flat head syndrome
PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:00 03 August 2018
A race against time is on in a mother's plea to raise money for treatment for a her 10-month-old son's flat head syndrome.
Rebecca Helen, 26, from Suffolk first noticed her son had a flat spot on his head, known as plagiocephaly, when he was around 12 weeks old.
But because the condition is considered cosmetic by the NHS in most cases, she is not able to get a helmet which she believes will help her son, who she wishes to be identified only as baby J.
Rebecca said: “I knew I couldn’t afford treatment and so tried to correct it by repositioning him head to stop him laying on flat area and buying various aids to help, this did improve it somewhat but at 10 months old he is nearing the end of the age range where helmet treatment would work and then there is no alternative after that, we’ve already long missed the optimal treatment time-frame by months.”
Already, she has raised £185 towards the £2,025 cost of the treatment privately, and charity Headstart for Children has also vowed to give £300 to the family.
But the nearest clinic able to offer the treatment is 130 miles from her home, in Sevenoaks, Kent, and she has to raise the first £600 over this weekend (August 4 and 5).
The short timeframe, she said, was down to how quickly babies grow and so a scan taken on July 31 to make the helmet was only valid for a short time.
She said: “I am extremely surprised at the generosity of strangers.
“These donations are all from parents who have been through the same struggles having to privately fund the treatment because it is seen as cosmetic although without treatment children can face many challenges such as facial asymmetry, jaw misalignment, sleep apnea, and self esteem issues, even the ability to wear glasses for instance would become an issue.”
Some one in five babies are affected by flat head syndrome and the NHS advises it is not usually a major cause for concern.
The health service says to speak to your GP or health visitor if you are concerned about the shape of your babies head, or if they have trouble turning their head.
• Donations can be made by visiting www.gofundme.com/babyjsheadhelmet