Flat head syndrome, plagiocephaly

Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) is a condition in infants characterised by an asymmetrical-looking skull.

Overview

Plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) is a condition in infants characterised by an asymmetrical-looking skull. It is often caused by remaining in the same lying/sleeping position for prolonged periods, which can lead to deformation of the skull. Changing the lying position prevents plagiocephaly.

Symptoms

  • Asymmetrical distortion of the skull (a flattened back of the head is typical)

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • The change to the shape of the skull can already occur in the womb prior to the birth
  • Same sleeping and lying position (“position-dependent”)

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Testing the range of motion of the neck
  • Assessing the child’s level of development
  • Measuring the head circumference, weight and size
Possible therapies
  • Alternate lying/sleeping position
  • Physiotherapy

Most “position-dependent” flat heads self-correct within the first two years (if the child’s lying position is alternated).

What can I do myself?

Prevention

  • Change the child's lying position every night at bedtime
  • Let the child lie on its stomach for a short time, several times a day (watch the child during this time)

When to see a doctor?

  • Child's skull is deformed.

Synonyms

Flat head syndrome, plagiocephaly

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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