Baby's flat head
Does it matter my baby's head has a flat spot?
Heads out of Shape?
Does it really matter that my baby has a flat spot on its head?
With the latest advice being to lie your baby on it's back to sleep to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), flat heads, where the back of the head is flat (the occipital area) seem to more common place. However sleeping posture may not be the only cause to contibute to the increase in babies with a flat spot. Other prolonged periods where the babies head is held in one position may also lead to a flat spot, such as prolonged periods in car seats or stollers, not enough tummy time or restricted movement in the womb. Congenital torticollis (tightening of the anterior neck muscles) may also lead to a mishaped cranial vault, plagiocephaly.
Isn't it just cosmetic?
Whilst the mishaped head may seem cosmetic and of little consequence it is when the child's growth and development is affected that further intervention may be required.
Recent chiropractic research has shown that if an abnormal head shape remains unresolved, unequal brain development may occur with subsequent school learning problems ensuing. This means that the child may be unable to reach their full potential.
What can be done?
Some head shapes resolve during the growth and development of the child.
Some doctors recommend the use of a helment, however these are highly controversial as they are not always effective and deemed by some doctors as unecessary.
Chiropractic or cranial osteopathy aim to put the child into balance. These adjustments are gentle, safe and natural. When the child's body (not just the cranium) are working together the brain is able to communicate effectively to all muscles and organs thus allowing to child to fullfill their maximum potential.
Due to a child's rapid growth chiropractic care is best given early in life, preferably before four months old. This is when the most effective rapid resolution of the problem can be seen. Older children can of course be treated but the resolution often takes longer and may require more intense treatment ie more treatment sessions.
Due to the commoness of this problem and its possible long term effects, it is wise to have your baby checked by a qualified chiropractor in paediatrics to give your child the best start in life.