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Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Mother calls for NHS to recognise 'flat-head' syndrome
Loki Blu Sergent and his parents Nathan Sergent and Aileen Castle
Over 600 people have signed a petition calling for NHS plagiocephaly treatment

A mother is campaigning for better awareness of a condition that affects her six-month-old son.

Loki Blu Sergent suffers from 'flat-head' syndrome and his mother Aileen, is worried that not enough people know about it and its risks.

She has started a petition calling for the NHS to recognise the condition and has lobbied her local MP.

The NHS does not currently fund treatment because it believes that it is a purely cosmetic condition.

'Flat-head' syndrome or positional plagiocephaly is produced by pressure from the outside on part of the skull.

It can occur in the womb or can be caused by a baby favouring one side when sleeping and playing.

The Institute of Child Health state that there are no symptoms associated with plagiocephaly other than the flattened appearance of the back of the head.

It adds that in mild cases babies may not need active treatment, suggesting there are several ways of encouraging natural improvement - by encouraging the child to play on his or her tummy and encouraging the child to turn its head both ways.

However Aileen feels there should be more advice available to parents.

When Loki was born there was a slight flat spot on his head.

Aileen was told that this was due to the birth and it would correct itself over the coming weeks.

"It never improved. It just got worse," said Aileen. "The doctors offered us no assistance whatsoever."

Loki Blu Sergent
The doctor just told me to stop looking for the perfect baby
Aileen Castle, Loki Blu's mother

So, she went online and researched the condition.

"Looking at research done in America, it can cause problems with vision, speech, hearing and simple things like wearing glasses and cycle helmets," she said.

"The NHS haven't actually done any research into it so they cannot back up what they're saying, that it won't cause any problems."

Aileen suggested the possibility of Loki wearing a helmet to correct the shape of his skull to her doctor. She was not impressed with his response.

"The doctor just told me to stop looking for the perfect baby," she said.

Aileen took Loki to a private clinic in Leeds and paid £2000 for a helmet.

The family travel to Leeds every two weeks for the helmet to be tightened.

Loki has been wearing the helmet 23 hours a day since December 2010 and the shape of his skull is changing.

Aileen hopes the helmet should be ready to come off in April 2011.

She wants the NHS to change the way they see the condition.

"I've got a petition running on which I am trying to get the NHS to recognise the condition and give you more information about repositioning and tummy time to play."

Her MP, Vernon Coaker, has also written to the Department of Health, on her behalf.




SEE ALSO
Warning over flat head treatment
02 Mar 11 |  Bristol
Born with a flat head
29 Jul 08 |  UK
Clinic treats skull defects
21 Jun 07 |  England

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