All for one and one for all. Family solidarity is a beautiful thing, but it’s even more beautiful when kids are the ones leading by example.
The Gutierrez family of San Antonio, Texas learned that their 4-month old, Jonas, has plagiocephaly. Big sister Camila, 3, had questions. When her mom Shayna returned home with a small helmet, she wanted to know what was up.
Shayna explained to her that the condition – also called flat head syndrome – causes babies to have a flat spot on one area of the head. Jonas would need to wear the helmet for up to six months to help reshape his head. Satisfied but not satisfied with that answer, Camila thought of something she could do to help.
She ran to her room, grabbed her bicycle helmet, and strapped it onto her own head. To her, six months was a long time to rock a helmet alone, so why not make it a family affair? Camila got her parents to join in and Shayne snapped pictures of the whole family sporting helmets for the weekend. How could anyone say no to such a request by an adorable 3-year-old?
The charming photos were shared on social media by a cousin and earned a huge wave of responses from other families who are also in the same boat. Flat head syndrome is a common condition that is reversible, and according to a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, affects a little under half of the baby population.
There are two forms of flat head syndrome: plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, and in the vast majority of cases, never require surgery. It sometimes occurs while the child is still in the womb, but also happens a few weeks after the baby is born. Infants typically wear these helmets on their soft, malleable heads for a few months to help mold the skull.
Dad Gary told ABC News that Jonas already had a large head from the time he was in the womb, and his sleeping habits contributed to his flat spot. Because of the weight of his head, it settled in the same position whenever he rested.
Luckily, Jonas adjusted well to his accessory and other than the sweat, it hasn’t impacted his normal baby routine. Camila’s concern about her brother’s feelings is the ultimate sign of support, but the Gutierrez family did mention that their helmet alliance meetings would be reserved for weekends only as they move forward. How cute is it that she was thinking about his comfort?
If you’ve ever seen one of these helmets or your child has needed one, you may have noticed that they come in various designs. Decals and wrappings are available as fun and fashionable ways to decorate them. A cool design is in the works for Jonas too. Click on the video to see baby Jonas and his helmet-coordinated dad and sister.
What do you think of Camila’s sweet idea for her brother? Have you ever had to deal with flat head syndrome and a baby helmet? Was your family affected by a medical issue that bonded you together this way?