Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Plagiocephaly Appointment #1: Measuring

This is the second in a short series of posts about what to expect when getting a helmet. Here's links to the full series.
What to expect when getting a helmet
Appointment #1: Measuring
Appointment #2: Fitting
Appointment #3: Fine tuning
After the initial consultations and getting approval from the insurance (hallelujah!), they needed a custom model of her head. They send this model off to the shop where the helmets are made.

This model can be either physical or digital. To get a physical model they make a plaster cast of the baby's head (see image below). Eep. No wonder there are so many horror stories out there.

Plaster Cast
Thankfully there is another option: digital models. The process to make a digital model is much less messy and uncomfortable. Basically the doctor will just make a scan of her head.

He started by putting a stocking over her head. He cut a hole for her face and tied it under her chin like a bonnet.

He put a black cape over her shoulders so they wouldn't interfere with the scanner. Then he put little silver stickers all over her bonnet and face. The scanner uses the stickers as reference points.

The end result was comical instead of scary and uncomfortable. You can see she wasn't phased at all.

(It's really hard to take a picture of a baby and hold her at the same time)

Once she was all suited up, the doctor took out his scanner. It basically looked like an oversized handheld barcode scanner. (Next time I'm at the office I'll try to get a picture of it.)

He then began to wave the scanner around her head to scan different angles. Things got a little tricky here. My curious little one kept wiggling to face the scanner making it difficult to get a good scan of the back of her head. With much persistence we were able to get the angles we needed and an impressive 3D model of my baby's head appeared on the computer.

To complete the order, we got to decide which helmet we wanted. We were able to choose between a STARband and a STARlight. It was a tough choice but we decided to go with the STARband. Then we got to choose the color or pattern. Then we were done! The order was sent off.

No mess, no tears (well no more than usual).


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