Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Flat heads and development problems

Doctors typically say if your child gets a flat head when he/she is little, it is just cosmetic and won't do any damage. Now that stance may change! I am so frustrated by this. My middle son had a helmet when he was little. He was such a great sleeper starting at about 7 weeks old. Because he was on his head so much, he got a flat spot. We fixed it, but he had to wear a helmet for four months. It was a major pain.

However, I didn't want to take a chance that it would look funny and have him(as an adult) ask me why I didn't fix his head. So anyway, now they're saying those flat spots could cause developmental delays. I say, what doesn't! I guess I am a little sensitive after spending all that money and time seeing neurologists who said not to worry. He hasn't had any developmental delays yet. So I guess I am still not that concerned. (This picture is not my son, but it is the same helmet he had!There are a ton of options.)

FROM NBC: A preliminary study suggests babies who develop flattened heads from lying in one position may be at risk for developmental delays. Researchers examined babies when they were about 6 months old. those who'd developed the so-called "flat head syndrome" had lower scores than other babies on tests that measure cognitive and motor development.
It's unclear whether those delays last. researchers say they will continue to follow the children over the next few years.

Quote from the researcher: "Statistically, there has been a dramatic rise in the diagnosis of positional plagiocephaly since the 1990's. This may be a result of multiple factors, including increased awareness and babies spending more time on their backs in strollers, car seats, infant seats, cribs and sleeping on their backs.

This time period also coincides with the national Back-to-Sleep campaign designed to help protect babies against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), although it should be noted that a direct correlation with flat head syndrome hasn't been scientifically established. For every ten babies, one or two may have at least mild plagiocephaly. Many parents and physicians have dismissed it as a cosmetic issue or one that babies will grow out of as they develop, but our study indicates that we should look deeper."

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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