What is plagiocephaly in babies

What is plagiocephaly in babies

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How should the baby sleep? Face up or face down? This is a very frequent question among mothers and grandmothers in pediatric consultations. In 1992 the American Pediatric Association carried out a publicity campaign known as 'Back to sleep', recommending placing the baby on his back to sleep, with scientific evidence that it prevented Sudden Infant Death. As a result, according to some studies, it was possible to reduce mortality by up to 40% (this is a very important percentage) with which the campaign was a success, and the recommendation is fully accepted and disseminated among pediatricians.

But this posture when sleeping, on the back, resulted in an increase in cranial deformities known as 'postural plagiocephaly', which has become a cause for concern among parents. The sutures (tissue that joins the bones of the skull) are open, unlike other pathologies such as craniosynostosis, which are more serious and complex, and require surgical treatment.

In most cases, the cranial deformity is due to a repeated position of the baby in the crib. However, the pediatrician must rule out associated pathology, such as torticollis or neurological alterations that may be the cause of the child always looking to the same side. In some cases, they require rehabilitation exercises.

There is no scientific evidence to show at present that postural plagiocephaly produces other alterations than cranial and / or facial deformity. Some authors postulate that there may be some relationship with mental retardation, temporomandibular asymmetry, otitis media, visual disturbances, scoliosis or hip dislocation, but a causal relationship with plagiocephaly is not recognized.

The main specialists involved in the diagnosis and treatment of plagiocephaly are: pediatricians, rehabilitators and pediatric neurosurgeons.

Simple measures can be taken to prevent cranial deformity from occurring and to improve established deformities:

1. Put toys on the opposite side to the plane, so that the head turns.

2. Position the crib in such a way that the child is stimulated and speaks from the opposite side to the flat.

3. Generally, babies direct their gaze towards the parents' bed, so the direction in which the baby lies can be changed, that is, the head of the crib is placed towards the head and towards the feet, alternating, to Each time the child lies on one side.

4. Allow the child to play on his tummy for the first 3-4 months, whenever he is awake and in the presence of the parents, to strengthen the cervical muscles.

When these preventive measures are not enough, and plagiocephaly is severe, you should consider the option of a cranial orthosis, that is, the helmet, which must be worn after 5 months.

There are specialized orthopedics in this regard. They are used for about 22-23 hours a day to be effective, and the results are so good that it is well worth the effort.

You can read more articles similar to What is plagiocephaly in babies, in the category of Orthopedics and on-site traumatology.