What Causes a Flat Head in Babies?

Flat head syndrome is a condition that can appear at any time from birth, but it tends to take a few weeks or months to become apparent. Sometimes parents or health professionals notice that a babys head seems to have an altered shape where part of it appears to be flat. There are a number of medical terms for this, including http://www.technologyinmotion.com/plagiocephaly, brachycephaly or scaphocephaly. There are many different issues that can cause a flat head in babies, but they all stem from the fact that babies are born with soft skulls. The bone plates are not fused, but are held together with cranial sutures, which are essentially elastic tissues. Because the bones dont fuse for a year or two, it means that the shape of the babys skull can be affected by a number of factors. For example, the way that babies lay in the womb can affect their skull shape. This is especially the case with multiple births where there is less room for babies to move around. Because the skull strengthens considerably in the last few weeks of pregnancy, premature babies tend to have much softer skulls which are more prone to becoming misshapen. However, flat head syndrome mostly occurs because of the baby`s sleeping position. This is due to the current advice to put babies to sleep on their backs. This is essential from a safety point of view and has reduced instances of cot death. However, if the baby is positioned on their back too often and for a prolonged amount of time, it can result in the development of flat head syndrome. In mild cases, this may be corrected without clinical intervention and up to the age of four months its best to treat babies simply through repositioning techniques. For example, babies can be encouraged to move their head by relocating mobiles and toys. Once babies can hold their head up, its a good idea to place them on their tummy which relieves pressure on the affected part. Tummy time is a great form of exercise for your child and allows them to develop muscles in the hips and spinal extensors. If you dont see an improvement in your babys head shape, it is best to seek advice from a medical professional who can suggest other possible interventions. These can include physiotherapy to increase the range of movement through to specialised bespoke helmets which help to reshape the skull. These helmets gently help the skull reform into the correct shape as the babys skull continues to grow and fuse. The helmets are custom-made so that they fit each child perfectly and they are lined with soft foam to keep the babies comfortable. Babies are also reviewed regularly to ensure that they are responding properly to treatment. In many cases, flat head syndrome can be corrected by repositioning, but more severe cases may need further intervention. It is important to realise that babies skull sutures have usually fused when they reach about eighteen months, so its important not to delay seeking advice. health

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