Flat head pillows, or “head-shaping pillows,” pose a deadly risk of suffocation and should never be used to fix flat spots on a baby’s head, according to the FDA.
Need a Texas Flat Head Pillow Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If your baby suffocated or died while using a flat head pillow, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
What is the Problem?
Unlike flat spots on a baby’s head, which are usually harmless and go away on their own as a child grows older, flat head pillows are dangerous because babies can suffocate to death within minutes.
What is the Risk?
- Asphyxia (low oxygen)
- Brain damage
- Lifelong disabilities
FDA Warns Parents: Never Use Flat Head Pillows For Any Reason
In October 2022, the FDA issued a Safety Warning that parents should never use flat head pillows for any reason because babies can suffocate.
Flat head pillows “are not safe or effective for preventing or treating flat head syndrome,” according to the FDA.
“Do not use infant head shaping pillows due to the risk of sudden unexpected infant death,” including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation.
What Are Flat Head Pillows?
Flat head pillows are advertised to fix or prevent flat spots on a baby’s head. The condition is technically called plagiocephaly, and it is very common because babies naturally have soft skulls and they spend many hours a day on their back while sleeping, riding in car seats, bouncers, or swings.
What Do Flat Head Pillows Look Like?
Flat head pillows look like small mats with an indent or donut-hole in the center that is supposed to cradle the back of a baby’s head. The pillow may be round, heart-shaped, rectangular, or have animal ears. They are advertised toward parents and sold nationwide on Amazon.com and major stores like Target, Buy Buy Baby, and others.
How Do Babies Suffocate to Death on Pillows?
Pillows are never safe to put in the crib of a baby under 1 year old. The baby can twist onto their side, or roll over from their front to their back, and suffocate when their face gets trapped against the fabric.
But Wait… Is Flat Head Syndrome Serious?
No. Flat head syndrome is not painful for a baby, does not cause developmental problems, and usually goes away on its own when a baby starts crawling, rolling, and spending less time on his/her back.
Even if the flat spot does not go away, it usually becomes less noticeable over time, especially as the child gets taller and their head becomes proportionally smaller compared to the rest of the body.
Symptoms of Flat Head Syndrome
- Baby’s skull is flatter on the back or side
- Less hair on flat spot
- Ears misaligned
- Eyes have different shapes
- Neck muscles may be stronger on one side (called torticollis)
- Facial asymmetry
Does My Baby Need a Helmet?
It is becoming more common for doctors to prescribe Helmet Therapy for babies with flat spots who are between 4 to 6 months old.
The baby will be fitted with a special helmet that corrects the shape of their skull by creating a tight, round space for their head to grow into. If the child has flat spots from always resting on one side, the helmet also provides cushioning to prevent further flattening.
The helmet generally has to be worn 23 hours a day, except for bath-time, and the child will have to go to frequent doctor’s appointments to re-size the helmet. The average treatment time is about 3 months.
Risk-Factors for Flat Head Syndrome
- Premature birth: Babies who are born premature have softer skull bones and they must spend a lot of time on their back in the NICU to receive medical treatment. As a result, many of them come home from the hospital with flat spots.
- Craniosynostosis: Flat spots may be caused by a serious condition in which the baby’s skull fuses together too early. Normally, babies are born with 6 separate skull plates, which allows for rapid brain growth. In babies with craniosynostosis, the skull plates are fused together at birth, or fuse together too quickly in the baby’s first few months of life, causing flat spots on the skull.
- Torticollis: Some babies have a preference for always turning their head to one side when they are on their back. The neck muscles get stronger on that side, reinforcing the preference. Some babies are born with torticollis because they do not have a lot of room to move around in the womb, especially larger babies or multiples (twins, triplets, etc.).
Infant Pillow Lawsuits
These lawsuits accuse companies of putting profits above the safety of babies by ignoring Safe To Sleep advice that experts have been recommending for decades — always put a baby to sleep on their back, on a firm or flat surface, with no pillows or objects in the crib.
Need a Flat Head Pillow Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our law firm for a free case review.