“Get–A–Head” aims to raise £50,000 to spread awareness through a range of parent focused communications for the need to measure a baby’s head in the first year of life

The campaign will target expectant and new parents across the UK, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of head circumference measurement in babies during their first year of life. These measurement checks are crucial in spotting the condition 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. Called head circumference measurement (often recorded in the baby’s ‘Red Book’). This campaign will help expectant and new parents understand why head measurement is so crucial. We also want to raise awareness of the signs of hydrocephalus, which parents should be on the lookout for.

These include:

  1. hats for the baby’s correct age being far too small,
  2. the baby not fitting through the head for a babygrow of their age and/or their head circumference measurements are crossing percentile lines when plotted on a growth chart, over time.

Research suggests that early diagnosis can help improve the outcome for a baby born with hydrocephalus and, whilst there is no cure for the condition, there is treatment.

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!

Advice on head circumference measurement

 Coverage and engagement

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.
Guest Blog
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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