Colorado Patent of the Month – May 2021

Babies have soft heads which are very malleable during their first months of life. If they spend too much time in one position, for instance always sleeping on the same side, they can develop a flat spot. In extreme cases, this Flat Head Syndrome (FHS) can result in cognitive, motor, or visual impairments. It can also result in uneven neck muscles, with one side being weaker than the other and creating a permanent head tilt. After evidence showed that sleeping on the back prevented Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), back sleeping became the predominant orientation for a baby. FHS has become more popular as babies spend more time on their back. While tummy time does help to reduce flat spots, it is completely possible to avoid SIDS and FHS. Tortle Products have developed a head cushion device that can help to position the baby’s head to prevent flat spots, while allowing them to sleep on their back.

Some parents may have been told a helmet can help to reshape their baby’s head. Tortle’s product offers a similar idea, but is used during back time only, while a helmet is worn nonstop for a while. Made of soft material, the positioning device looks like a hat with cushioning at the back. This helps to secure the head to the supporting cushions. The device helps to align the baby’s head and neck with the spine, preventing the forming of a curved spine or any blocked cerebral blood flow. The device is secured to the head, helping to support it in midline while providing support to the neck. The system helps to prevent the head from resting on the flat surface of the bed or floor while ensuring the head remains aligned during the early months of their life. 

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