Mom in Caymen Islands find success consulting w/ Dr Flores re: Flat Head Syndrome

We are elated to know we can make a difference in the lives of little ones- EVEN if they live on the other side of the world!

Dr Flores has made herself available for skype consultations with those that do not have access to specialists in the field of preventing and correcting flat head syndrome, aka positional plagiocephaly.  She has consulted with parents all over the U.S. and other countries including Luxenberg, Saudi Arabia and now the Caymen Islands!

Since her interview with CBS on Flat Head Syndrome and the release of her first book entitled ‘How to Avoid Flat Head & Delays in Baby’s First Year’, Dr Flores has proven to be one of the top experts on effective, safe and holistic techniques that prevent and correct malformed head shapes in infants while also improving upon the root cause of the head flattening.

Here is what a Mom in the Caymen Islands had to say about consulting with Dr Flores:

Physical Therapy Solutions deserves seven stars as far as we’re concerned! When my daughter was diagnosed by her paediatrician as having flat head syndrome I started combing the internet for information to educate us on what we could do to help her. This lead to finding a YouTube video in which Dr. Flores spoke about the issue. Noting her expertise from the video I looked up her practice and contacted them for an appointment.

However, there was once slight issue…we are in the Cayman Islands and they are in Santa Monica California. I decided to get in touch anyway to see if we could do a computer video conference via Skype. I was elated when they confirmed that they indeed could work with us via Skype.

The consultation was completed and with the advice and exercises suggested by Dr. Flores, our daughter is almost fully recovered from Flat Head Syndrome and Torticollis by our followup appointment just one month later. We are so thankful for Dr. Flores and her practice. Do not hesitate to contact them even if you’re on the other side of the world!Moms do everything for their child!

Dr Yvette Flores is offering video assistance to parents who are lacking resources in their area.  Download the FREE questionnaire the Dr Flores feels parents should share with their child’s pediatrician:

“The 10 Questions Every Parent Must Ask their Baby’s Pediatrician Right Away”

You can get your free copy at

To schedule a video session with Dr Flores, contact us directly from our website at or call us at 800-507-2634.  We are here to help!


December 29, 2016. Tags: , , , . Early Head Start, Events, FYI's for New Parents, Invitations, Testimonials. Leave a comment.

New Book Prevents Flat Head

Dear Families,

As you may know, I’ve been working to publish my first book, focused on helping parents prevent permanent flat spots quickly and effectively. I’m excited to share it!

I am opening up a few slots each month this summer where I’ll be available for interviews. If you or someone you know would like a guest interview for their blog, media, group, or project, message me at

(To get a sense of topics I can speak about, you can visit

Best in health to you!
Dr. Flores

PS – Here’s a peek of the cover!

How to Avoid Flat Head & Delays in Your Baby's First Year

Available for instant download

April 30, 2014. Early Head Start, FYI's for New Parents, Gross Motor Milestones. Leave a comment.

Why Does My Baby Cry During Tummy Time?

October 29, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . Early Head Start, FYI's for New Parents, Gross Motor Milestones. Leave a comment.

PT Solutions Has 100% Success Rate w/ Early Intervention for Infants With Flat-Head Syndrome

Check out our CBS 2 Feature on Dr. Yvette Flores, PT, DPT, aired on 4/30/13

May 1, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Early Head Start, Events, FYI's for New Parents, Welcome New Parents!. Leave a comment.

Plagiocephaly Prevention

FAQ: Flat Head Syndrome aka ‘Plagiocephaly’

1. What is plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome?
Plagiocephaly refers to a deformity of the skull in which one side is more developed in the front, and less developed in the rear. It generally occurs in newborns and infants. In severe cases, it can cause facial asymmetries; on the less developed rear side (flat side), the face & forehead can look more prominent, the ear can be positioned more forward than the other and the eye on that side can appear larger.


2. How does plagiocephaly happen?
Plagiocephaly results when repeated prolonged pressure is placed on one side of the back of the skull, causing that part of the skull to be pushed inward at the point of contact. This usually occurs during the most malleable period of skull development, from birth to 5 months of age and happens when a newborn/ infant prefers turning their head toward one side more so than the other. Over time, the back of the skull on the favored side starts to deform, typically appearing flat behind the back of the ear. As this part flattens, the front part of the skull (forehead) begins to bulge out, as if the whole side of the skull shifted forward from back to front.

3. What causes a newborn/ infant to favor turning their head to one side?
Tight neck muscles on one side typically cause a newborn/ infant to turn their head away from that tight side in an effort to get comfortable and avoid a ‘pulling sensation’ caused by turning their head toward any tightness. In severe cases, the positional favoring becomes habitual over time, which can then result in accelerated and severe head flattening.Head Flattening Diagram

4. How do I know if my child is at risk?
There are several distinguishable risk factors to help a parent determine if their newborn is at risk of developing plagiocephaly. If newborns are positive in 3 or more of the following risk factors, an early prevention physical therapy evaluation is recommended to help parents prevent plagiocephaly.

Risk factors include:

  1. First pregnancy/ delivery (intra-uterine constraint)
  2. Abnormalities of uterus such as shape, size or intra-uterine space (intra-uterine constraint)
  3. Awkward fetal positioning during last trimester such as breeched, transverse or diagonal (intra-uterine constraint)
  4. Multiple birth (intra-uterine constraint)
  5. Long Labor/ Difficulty pushing/ Baby positioned low for a long period of time or stuck in birth canal (intra-uterine constraint/ traumatic birth)
  6. Emergency C-section delivery (traumatic birth)
  7. Use of force or tools to remove baby from birth canal (traumatic birth)
  8. Premature delivery followed by a stay in the NICU (traumatic birth, premature ability to turn head- prolonged contact pressure on skull)
  9. Delivery greater than 40 wks (intra-uterine constraint)
  10. Larger than average head size and/or longer than average body length at birth (intra-uterine constraint)
  11. Newborn/ Infant sleeps well: > 6 – 12 hrs at a time without turning head side to side (prolonged contact pressure on skull)
  12. Newborn/ Infant has low tolerance for awake tummy time and so does not engage in frequent daily tummy time activities (prolonged contact pressure on skull)

5. What can I do to prevent head flattening in my newborn/ infant?
Review the above risk factors to determine if your child is at risk and if so, schedule an early intervention examination & consultation with a pediatric physical therapy specialist. The ideal age for this screen is 6 to 10 weeks of age. In severe cases, head deformation can be seen as early as 4 weeks of age but on average is seen by 12 weeks of age. If your child is not at risk, just remain mindful and make sure to alternate head position during sleep in combination with increasing bouts of daily awake tummy time for best practices.

6. What can I do to improve existing head flattening?

Time is of the essence as head flattening can get worse over time and more difficult to correct the older the child gets.  Physical therapy intervention is the ideal solution for helping parents correct existing head flattening as well as correcting the ‘root cause’ of the flattening, and the sooner the better.

Initiate Physical Therapy early Successful Correction of Head Flatness w/ PT alone Likelihood of needing helmet therapy
4 wks to 12 wks old: IDEAL AGE 90 – 100% success rate Not likely
4 mos to 5 mos old 75% – 100% success rate Possibly but depends on severity of plagiocephaly & root cause
> 5 to 6 mos old 50% -100% success rate Likely but depends of severity of plagiocephaly, root cause & habitual favoring

There is a significantly high success rate improving head flattening with physical therapy alone if initiated within 4 wks to 12 wks old because there is greater compliance with sleep positioning techniques, minimal to no habitual side favoring has formed yet and the overall ease of stretching exercises is greatest when the child is smallest.  If therapy is initiated past 4 to 5 months of age, the success rate of just physical therapy alone decreases but depends on how severe the flattening is and how severe the cause of the flattening is.  Habitual favoring tends to develop from here on out, which is extremely difficult to correct.  The older they get, the more engrained their habitual preferences become, and the harder it is for therapists and parents to correct due to resistance.  In cases of moderate to severe head flattening in infants older than 5 months, helmet therapy is usually recommended along with physical therapy.

7. Does my child need to get a helmet to correct head flattening?
According to pediatric cranial specialists, the helmet does its best work when placed on a child anytime between 5 months to 8 months of age. Children diagnosed with moderate/severe to severe plagiocephaly at 5 months of age are recommended to do helmet therapy if they didn’t start PT yet, started PT late or progress with PT alone has been minimal. However, children that are 5 months of age, demonstrating consistent improvements in head shape with early physical therapy and repositioning, have the option of waiting one to two more months to see how much more progress can be made before considering helmet therapy.

8. Can head flattening return or worsen again?
Yes but that depends. If your child completed helmet therapy early with no physical therapy intervention, the underlying cause of the flattening can still be present; habitual favoring can still be an issue and flattening of the same spot can re-occur. The skull is pliable (moldable) up to 12 months of age, at which point it begins to harden. After 12 months of age, there is a high likelihood that any residual flattening will carry over into adulthood.

9. Can I see a physical therapy specialist without getting a referral from my child’s pediatrician?

Yes. In the state of California, patients do not need a physician’s referral or prescription to complete a physical therapy evaluation. If your child is a candidate for a physical therapy program, your physical therapist can work with you to request your pediatrician’s signature on their report of findings & recommendations, which then serves as a prescription for PT.

10. Can I request to have my child participate in a program of physical therapy from my child’s pediatrician?
Yes. At any given time, parents can always insist on a physical therapy evaluation and treatment program. Your therapist will need to submit strong evidence that warrants physical therapy intervention in order for your pediatrician to sign off on a program of care after the initial evaluation.

11. Does plagiocephaly affect brain function?
No. Plagiocephaly has not been associated with affecting brain or cognitive development.

12. Does plagiocephaly affect anything serious aside from being cosmetic?
Significant cases of plagiocephaly are usually associated with neck muscle imbalance: tightness and/or weakness of neck muscles on one side, resulting in the positional favoring. We have seen one newborn case where one eye was closed/ shut due to the extreme head deformation. In this case, the newborn was able to open his eye after 2 weeks of initiating physical therapy. In other severe cases, we have seen TMJ asymmetries where one side of the jaw didn’t open as wide as the other, affecting ability to latch on when feeding. The most common health limitations seen in toddlers and young children with persistent neck muscle imbalances & misshapen heads are gross motor developmental delays: delayed acceptance of tummy time, delayed rolling, crawling, asymmetrical crawling, delayed walking, asymmetrical walking and premature favoring of limbs on one side of the body.

13. Can early prevention and physical therapy prevent gross motor delays?
Absolutely. Physical Therapy head & neck specialists can improve neck and body muscle imbalance before the child starts to develop asymmetrical gross motor movements and preferences. Your physical therapist should design a comprehensive program of improving head shape, correcting the underlying cause and preventing gross motor asymmetries and delays, to be completed within 3 to 5 months with the end result being: normalized head shape, facial symmetry, body symmetry, full neck muscle balance and age-appropriate gross motor function.

There is a significantly high success rate improving head flattening with physical therapy alone if initiated within 4 wks to 12 wks old because there is greater compliance with sleep positioning techniques, minimal to no habitual side favoring has formed yet and the overall ease of stretching exercises is greatest when the child is smallest.  If therapy is initiated past 4 to 5 months of age, the success rate of just physical therapy alone decreases but depends on how severe the flattening is and how severe the cause of the flattening is.  Habitual favoring tends to develop from here on out, which is extremely difficult to correct.  The older they get, the more engrained their habitual preferences become, and the harder it is for therapists and parents to correct due to resistance.  In cases of moderate to severe head flattening in infants older than 5 months, helmet therapy is usually recommended along with physical therapy.

April 16, 2013. Early Head Start, FYI's for New Parents. Leave a comment.

Happy International Women’s Day!

In honor of women’s health on this International Women’s Day, check out the following guidelines and make sure the women in your life stay up-to-date with regular health exams!

Preventive Health Screenings for Women

Article from HealthyWomen.Org

Be proactive about your health by staying on top of necessary screenings and health care visits. This schedule is a suggested timeline for routine screenings. Talk with your health care provider for specific personal guidance. More frequent screenings may be recommended based on your personal health history.

General Health
What When Why
Physical examination Every 2–3 years; discuss with your health care provider. To screen for diseases; assess risk for future problems; discuss lifestyle habits; and keep vaccinations up to date.
Thyroid test Discuss with your health care provider. To identify an under- or overactive thyroid, both of which are very treatable and either of which can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated.
Bone Health
What When Why
Bone mineral density test At least once beginning at age 65; earlier depending on your risk factors for osteoporosis. There are no obvious signs of osteoporosis until you fracture a bone. Bone density screenings identify problems early, enabling you to start treatment and prevent further bone loss.
Breast Health
What When Why
Mammogram Every 1–2 years starting at age 40. To identify possible early signs of breast cancer.
Clinical breast exam About every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and over. Not all breast cancers are found on mammograms; a good clinical breast exam can also help identify cancers relatively early.
Colorectal Health
What When Why
Colonoscopy Every 10 years starting at age 50. Alternatively, you may get a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years or a double-contrast barium enema every 5 years or a CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years, but a colonoscopy will be needed if any of those results are positive. To identify (and remove) precancerous polyps or early cancers.
Fecal occult blood test (also called stool guaiac test) or fecal immunochemical test or stool DNA test Annually starting at age 50 for the fecal occult blood test or the fecal immunochemical test; stool DNA test may be given at intervals recommended by your doctor. To provide an early warning sign about colon cancer. Not as good as a colonoscopy in identifying cancers or precancerous cells.
Digital rectal exam Starting at age 50, every 5–10 years with each colon screening. To help find early signs of colon cancer in the anal canal and lower rectum. Because of its limitations, it is not recommended as the only test for colorectal cancer.
What When Why
Fasting plasma glucose test (also called blood glucose test) Every three years starting at age 45; more often or earlier if you’re overweight or at risk for diabetes. To provide an early warning sign of high blood sugar levels, which could mean an increased risk for diabetes.
Eye, Ear and Teeth Health
What When Why
Eye exam At least once from ages 20 to 29; at least two exams between ages 30 and 39. At age 40, get a baseline eye disease screening. Based on results, follow ophthalmologist’s recommendations until age 65. After that, complete eye exam every one to two years. To test your vision and screen for glaucoma and macular degeneration, two common, often age-related conditions.
Hearing test Beginning at age 18, then once every 10 years until age 50, after which it should be once every three years. To make sure you’re hearing all life has to offer.
Dental exam and cleaning At least once a year; twice a year is best. To remove plaque and bacteria that could lead to tooth and gum disease; to check for tongue and mouth cancer. Problems with your teeth can indicate osteoporosis.
Heart Health
What When Why
Blood pressure screening At least every 2 years in your health care professional’s office. The only way to identify hypertension is with blood pressure screenings.
Cholesterol screening Every 5 years starting at age 35. Begin screening at age 20 if you smoke, are obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure or have a family history of heart disease. Treating cholesterol abnormalities can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Reproductive/Sexual Health
What When Why
Pap test and pelvic exam Every 2 years from ages 21-30; every 2-3 years for women age 30 and older who have had 3 consecutive normal Pap tests. Screening may be stopped at age 65 or 70 for women who have 3 or more normal Pap tests in a row and no abnormal test results in 10 years. If you have had your cervix and uterus removed, ask your health care provider if you need to continue screening. To screen for abnormalities that could indicate pre- or early cervical cancer.
HPV test Every 2–3 years along with Pap test starting at age 30 (and in younger women with inconclusive Pap tests). Helps identify women at risk for developing cervical cancer.
Chlamydia test Yearly until age 25 if sexually active; for age 26 and older, get the test if you have new or multiple sexual partners. Prevents spread of chlamydia.
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening All sexually active women and their partners should be tested for HIV and other STDs before starting sexual activity. Prevents spread of HIV and other STDs, many of which can only be detected through testing.
Skin Health
What When Why
Skin exam by a doctor Talk to your health care provider about what’s right for you. If you have risk factors for skin cancer, your health care provider may recommend periodic skin exams. To track worrisome moles and identify skin cancer early.
Skin self-exam Monthly skin exam starting at age 18. To know your own skin and be able to report changes to your health care provider.
What When Why
Influenza (flu) vaccine Annually for everyone 6 months and older. Protection again some flu viruses (will include H1N1 starting in fall 2010).
Hepatitis A Given in 2 doses, 6-18 months apart, to children 1 year of age and to adults at risk or who want protection from hepatitis A. Protects against hepatitis A, a serious liver disease that can cause flu-like illness, jaundice and severe stomach pains and diarrhea.
Hepatitis B Given to children at birth in 3 doses at 0, 1 and 6 months. Also given to children or adults who weren’t vaccinated and are at risk for hepatitis B, such as health care workers. Protects against hepatitis B, a serious liver disease that can develop into a chronic infection.
Herpes zoster Once only at age 60 or older. Shingles prevention.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) Age 11–12 or 13–26 if not previously vaccinated; 3 doses at 0-, 2- and 6-month intervals; no booster necessary. Protects against four common types of HPV, including the two most likely to cause cervical cancer.
Pneumonia Once only at age 65 or older. Protects against pneumonia.
Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap) Every 10 years. Protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
Meningococcal College freshmen, military recruits and other at-risk persons; discuss with your health care provider. Protects against some types of meningococcal disease (meningitis).
Varicella (chickenpox) Given in 2 doses at 0- and 4- to 8-week intervals to those 19 or older who have not been vaccinated or had chickenpox. Protects against chickenpox, a usually mild but highly contagious childhood disease, which can be serious in infants and adults.

March 8, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . FYI's for New Parents, Just For Moms, Women, Women's Health. Leave a comment.

Plagiocephaly: Early Intervention prevents, PT corrects the cause, Helmet improves shape

It is recommended to start physical therapy intervention as as soon as a parent or pediatrician detects a developing flat spot (plagiocephaly, brachycephaly).  It is equally important for pediatricians and OBGYN doctors to educate new moms that may have a newborn that is at risk for positional plagiocephaly.  Usually, pediatricians and OBGYN doctors refer these moms to a pediatric specialist for a consultation.

What are the risk factors?  Intra-uterine constraint (first pregnancy, multiple birth, breeched/ transverse positioning, intra-uterine fibroids, larger than average infant head or body size, > 40 weeks delivery) and traumatic birth history (infant head in birth canal for long period of time, use of vacuum/clamp, emergency c-section or premature delivery).

 “It is completely possible to identify newborns who are at risk for positional plagiocephaly and help the families of these newborns at risk,  prevent the flattening from ever happening. ”  Dr Yvette Flores

We recommend a physical therapy evaluation within the first two months of life.  Physical therapy intervention could be as short as 2 visits: the first visit is to evaluate and educate the parents on what to do, the second visit is to follow up after a month or so to make sure the parents are doing a great job and the child’s head is looking good.

Physical therapy intervention has a high success rate at improving and restoring head shape symmetry when initiated between birth to 3 months of age.  In severe cases, however, helmet therapy is recommended.

Helmet therapy is most effective when done between 5 months to 8 months of age, in conjunction with physical therapy.  Helmet therapy eliminates the challenge parents have of sleeping their child ‘off’ the flat spot by offering an environment where nothing touches the flat spot 23 hours a day.  Depending on the severity of the flat spot and the child’s age, the helmet is used for 2 to 5 months.

We typically don’t recommend helmet therapy earlier than 5 months because:

1) Physical therapy alone usually can guide the families to normal restored head shape

2) Initiating helmet therapy too early can result in the need for another helmet shortly after the child grows out of the first.

3) Helmets are costly with no guarantee that health insurance will cover it.  On average, they are about $4000 depending on which center you go to.  If we can help families save four thousand dollars with just physical therapy alone, we are all for it.

4)  If the underlying ‘root cause’ of the plagiocephaly isn’t corrected by the time the helmet therapy is done, there is a chance of re-flattening. Here is an analogy: take a piece of play doh, putty or soft clay.  Make a round ball out of it and place it on a flat surface such as a table.  After a few minutes, you will see that the round ball begins to flatten where it is in contact with the table.  The same thing occurs with infant heads which is impressionable from birth to 12 months: repetitive pressure on the same spot can cause re-flattening.  If the child still has signs of positional ‘favoring’ (prefers sleeping with head turned or tilted to the left), it is likely that the original spot that was rounded out with the helmet can get dented in again over time.

Bottom line:  Positional plagiocephaly can be PREVENTED by :

1) Simply educating new parents on preventative techniques: if your pediatrician or OBGYN doctor does not refer new parents for a physical therapy early intervention session, parents can take the initiative to schedule this session directly with a pediatric physical therapist that specializes in head and neck challenges.  We recommend doing this within the first 2 months of life.

2) As a new parent, find out if your newborn is at risk by looking at the risk factors listed above and seeing how many (if any) pertain to your pregnancy and birth history.  If you identify with even 2 items on the list, it is imperative that you learn preventative techniques to start applying right away.  Schedule a session with a skilled pediatric therapist to learn what you can do that is safe and effective.

If your child has an obvious developing flat spot in the back of his/her head….

*Tell your baby’s pediatrician that you would like to schedule a consultation with a pediatric physical therapist.  It is a smart idea to get the opinion of a physical therapist who specializes in head & neck challenges on your baby’s developing flat spot, to learn techniques you can start doing right away to prevent it from getting flatter, and to determine if you child is a candidate for a physical therapy (and helmet therapy) program.

A referral or prescription for a physical therapy evaluation is not required in the state of California (and possibly other states). Should your child benefit from a course of physical therapy, the therapist can then get the prescription from your pediatrician.

January 15, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Early Head Start, FYI's for New Parents. Leave a comment.

Physical Therapy Programs & Wellness Programs: Solutions for New Parents wanting to be Pain-Free and Injury-Free

Parents of infants and toddlers are always lifting and carrying car seats, strollers, and especially their young ones various times during any given day.

Without proper counterbalance measures (specific exercises to reduce muscle cramping, muscle tightness, and tendonitis), all parents are at risk for developing some muscle soreness or even pain during the first 3 years of their child’s life.

At Physical Therapy Solutions, we created specialized physical therapy programs for those experiencing pain, injury or muscle weakness that haven’t gone away as expected. These programs are designed to quickly reduce the pain, quickly heal the injury and quickly increase muscle strength so that this doesn’t become a repetitive problem for the parent. We all know that parents have so much on their plate already that having to baby a shoulder, a low back or even a wrist that keeps getting irritated with use, is frustrating. Within 4 to 8 sessions of physical therapy, we can significantly get you to a better place, where you may even feel better or stronger than before your injury.

If your situation isn’t severe enough that you feel like you need to do physical therapy, we offer Wellness Programs designed to take you through ‘Counter-Balance’ exercises for the purpose of improving muscle balance, muscle flexibility and muscle strength. Our Wellness exercise programs teach you what you should be doing at home, to prevent pain, injury or weakness. Our Wellness treatment programs include myofacial release massages, use of Biofreeze gel and even treatment sessions with the 830 cold laser. 

We are in the process of finalizing the details of our ‘Mommy Wellness’ programs, to be available January 2012. These programs will include all of the above in addition to Body Composition tracking, nutritional advice over group breakfast sessions, and a SPA DAY at the end of the 12 week Wellness Program, to celebrate accomplishing your goals.

For more information, stop by our clinic today! Also ask to receive a FREE SAMPLE of Biofreeze: a practical solutions for reducing muscle aches/pains. 

                            For more information on Biofreeze, click the link below:

November 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . FYI's for New Parents, Just For Moms, Welcome New Parents!, Wellness Classes. Leave a comment.

12 Simple Ways to Fight Prediabetes

Happy Monday,

I am always reviewing articles and newsletters that come my way, especially the ones that focus on active prevention efforts.  This article is a great one for women who may be predisposed to diabetes.  I often think of new moms, families that have just begun, or even new grandmothers, and I realize the continued importance of choosing to stay healthy and choosing to be aware of all the things you can do for yourself to stay healthy.  These are one of those articles- simple, informative and shares a real story of a real person who succeeded.  Enjoy!

November 7, 2011. Tags: , , . FYI's for New Parents, Just For Moms. Leave a comment.

Be Safe Trick or Treating on Halloween!

If you are planning on taking your children trick or treating this Monday evening, view this flyer for important safety tips and share this with other families.  Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Halloween Safety Tips: PDF version

October 26, 2011. Tags: , . FYI's for New Parents, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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