A baby who is diagnosed with positional plagiocephaly and has developed a flat spot on his skull may be asked to wear a medical helmet for a few months. While it can help properly form his skull shape in the long run, wearing a helmet 23 hours a day for months can take a toll on the child and his parents. Thankfully, one Washington artist makes medical helmets more fun for kids to wear by painting them with cool designs.
“People would make comments, they would stare—it was hard enough that my son had to wear the helmet,” explained a mother, Landee Tim, whose son wears a helmet, to Care.com. “The initial experience was hard enough on us, and on top of that people are looking at us like we did something to our son—that broke my heart.”
Tim also told Today.com she’d get stares and rude comments when she and her little one were out in public—and then she found Paula Strawn.
Strawn is an artist whose painting skills will make any medical helmet seem like masterpiece. According to her Facebook page, Strawn has been helmet-painting for over 12 years and has created over 2,300 designs.
She paints everything from fictional characters in books to sports team logos onto children’s helmets. By doing so, helps to remove the stigma around these medical tools.
“I feel blessed beyond belief that I am able to do what I do,” Strawn told Today.com. “I have had parents in my living room in tears because their beautiful baby has to wear this ugly-but-needed thing. They don’t want others to look at their adored and cherished wonder of the world with pity, and that is heartbreaking.”
A little imagination and some paint can change that. When Tim’s baby had a Strawn original wrapped around his head, “the feedback from others immediately changed,” the mom said to Today.com.
And that’s just one example of how Strawn’s artistry has changed a family’s life for the better. Her Facebook page is full of happy babies in their new-and-improved helmets.
Just look at these co-pilots:
And this adorable little snow princess:
Seriously, does it get better than this?
Strawn isn’t the only person who is helping these families turn their helmets into works of art. The artist behind the SillyHeadCustomPaint Etsy page also creates custom helmets and leg braces with cool designs.
Here’s an example of what the Etsy shop has to offer:
This art for a purpose is truly inspiring. If you know of a child who wears a medical helmet, you may want to spread the word about artists like these because they’re out to make helmets a little more fun to wear. And that’s a win for everyone!