“Get–A–Head” is working to raise £50,000 to spread awareness through a range of parent focused communications for the need for trained health care professionals to measure and record a baby’s head circumference in the first year of life so baby’s showing signs of hydrocephalus no longer can slip through the net.

The campaign targets expectant and new parents across the UK so they are aware about why these measurements are so important as a tool for spotting life-threatening conditions such as hydrocephalus.

Hydrocephalus is life-threatening, an estimated 1 in every 770 babies born each year will develop hydrocephalus. (source: Hydrocephalus Association in the US).

One of the ways hydrocephalus can be diagnosed is through the measurement of a baby’s head circumference which is then recorded in the baby’s ‘Red Book’. This campaign helps expectant and new parents understand why head measurement is so crucial as well as how to spot other signs of the condition.

Signs include: 

  • A head circumference that has increased two or more centile lines on a standard growth chart
  • A tense of bulging fontanelle
  • – Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Prominent scalp veins
  • Extreme irritability
  • Difficulty holding their head up
  • Eyes that are fixed looking downwards, sometimes called “sunsetting eyes”
  • The baby not fitting through the head for a Babygro of their age (or adjusted age) or hats for their age (or adjusted age) not fitting but clothes for the rest of their body do. 

A baby’s head should be measured:

  1. Around Twenty-four hours after birth
  2. At the 6-8 week check
  3. At around six months
  4. And at anytime there are concerns over the baby’s growth, development or general health. 

This campaign is so important. A recent survey hosted by Bounty discovered that of the 750 new parents who responded, only 20% of parents were aware that measuring a baby’s head can help identify hydrocephalus. Almost half (45%), of parents surveyed did not know that their baby’s head should be measured at birth – this needs to change!

And here's why...

Free NHS approved tape measures

Thanks to a kind and generous grant from the Yateley and District Lions Club we now have 10,000 disposable paper tape measures

We can give these away in bundles to Health Visitors, Midwives and GPs

who need them as well as to families who are required to measure their child’s head as part of their monitoring. 

Please email  info@harrys-hat.org if you need some.

Get a Head
Teri Kearsey

Why measure…. how it helped Jethro

Just before 6 weeks of age he had a six week check with his health visitor to do the all of the usual baby checks, and this thankfully included a head circumference measurement. This measurement showed that Jethro’s head had increased rapidly from 25% at birth to 75% six weeks later.

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