It’s a condition that impacts 1 in 5 children – plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome).
As a baby is asleep on its back, its head tends to lay flat and because a baby’s head is still soft and malleable, this extra pressure can cause the head to flatten.
New researchers show how this CAN be avoided. See below.
What is flat head?
The research from a study by the University of Melbourne has confirmed that babies who acquire a flat spot on their skull tend to have less developed head control.
Mamamia reports, Physiotherapist and PhD candidate Liz Williams worked with the Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital’s Plagiocephaly clinic and found that babies at the Plagiocephaly clinic are an average of seven-months-old, yet over half (54 per cent) did not meet pull-to-sit development guidelines for head control.
Williams says, “Many new parents follow advice to ‘position’ their resting baby with their head on one side, then on the other side, when we need to encourage babies to be active, to move themselves by engaging with them from birth.”
A new way to avoid flat head
Williams has now created a fact sheet for new parents which contains exercises and advice, to help them avoid what she says is an avoidable condition.
By creating this fact sheet, Williams hopes this will help reduce the number of babies being treated for plagiocephaly, and demonstrate the role parents play in helping their babies gain better head control.
If you do notice your child does have a flat head, see your doctor. It’s always a good idea to have it checked out, just in case.
What can you do?
The factsheet states these are some of the things you can do at home with your baby to avoid flat head.
- Support newborn babies in the curled up position.
- Choose your time for playing: when baby is looking at you, after nappy change, in the bath.
- Tummy time can be when they are lying on you
- Face time can be in your arms
- Both face time and tummy time can be on the floor
- Look at their eyes (eye contact): intimate baby making mouth shapes, get them to follow your eyes are turn their head themselves.
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