Uneven head shape in toddlers is known as Craniosynostosis, which needs medical attention. Keep reading to find more about it.
In this article, you will read about the syndrome in detail, the causes of the uneven shape of the head, the methods by which doctors cure this syndrome. You will also read about the preventive measures and precautions you can take as a parent and many other things that you might not know about uneven head shape in toddlers.
Uneven Head Shape in Toddlers
We all take birth with more than 300 bones, but by the time we become a teenager, only 206 bones are left. The number of bones decreases because some of them are fused to form one more giant bone. A similar phenomenon happens to a lot of bones in our skull. It is quite common to observe that a baby’s head looks a little crooked. The reason is that the individual bones of a newborn’s skull are not yet fused. Another reason for this could be that the baby was resting in the same position for a long time. Let’s read more about the syndrome in detail.
What is the Syndrome?
In general, the syndrome is called Craniosynostosis, but the specification depends upon the flattening the toddler exhibits. In the below-mentioned points, you will read about the different kinds of Craniosynostosis:
Scaphocephaly is when a long narrow head with midline sagittal synostosis with the suture extending from front to back over the top of the head.
When the forehead is pinched on the side and range runs from the bridge of the nose to the soft top of the head, we call it Trigonocephaly.
When we observe an asymmetric head and face with a flattened forehead, a raised eyebrow, and a deviated nose, we call it Anterior Plagiocephaly.
Brachycephaly is a tall forehead with flat and cheeks, a beaked nose, and bulging eyes.
In this type of Craniosynostosis, toddlers experience asymmetric heads with a pronounced ridge on the back of the head and a large bump behind the ear.
These are all the different types of Craniosynostosis that a toddler might face. But you might wonder why does a toddler goes through this syndrome and what are the reasons for it. Let’s find out the causes of this syndrome below.
Causes of Craniosynostosis
The shape of your baby’s head might change due to the following causes:
1. Suction Method
When you go for a vacuum birth, the child’s head might lump due to suction pressure. This method leads to a change in the shape of your baby’s head.
2. Usage of Forceps
During the delivery process, the pressure by forceps can change the shape of your child’s head. Sharp objects like forceps or tweezers might pinch the baby on the head.
3. Multiple Babies
If you are having twins, triplets, etc. in your womb, then the babies will dig inside. This causes changes in the shape of their heads. The fight between them puts some pressure on the heads of the babies, resulting in a change in the head shape.
These are all the things that may lead to change the shape of a baby’s head. But even though the shape of the head alters, medical science has certain cure methods for such deformity, which parents can opt for to reshape their baby’s head.
Cures for Uneven Head Shape in Toddlers
- The most common treatment for Craniosynostosis is surgery that results in the correction of both deformity and the most negligible chances of pressure inside the skull. Some people might try to escape from the surgery and go for a method like a tummy time and helmet. Still, these methods can only cure positional skull deformities, but they are not effective in the cases of Craniosynostosis.
- Children with Craniosynostosis are generally referred to plastic surgeons who are experts in craniofacial surgery. Pediatric neurosurgeons can also perform the job.
- The diagnosis of Craniosynostosis is done by tomography, which is commonly called a CT scan. The results are a factor to decide whether a surgery is required or not.
- The age of the child is also a factor when Craniosynostosis is diagnosed. If the results of such diagnosis demand reconstruction, it includes the placement of springs and screws in the affected bones.
What Can You Do as a Parent?
For the parents who do not want to seek a doctor in the cases of Craniosynostosis, some treatments can be performed using certain apparatus. Yet we would advise you to consult your doctor and not rely on such remedies as they might not be as effective as medical methods.
1. Let the Baby Sleep on the Tummy Side
Put your baby to sleep on the tummy side so that the flattened side doesn’t get any pressure. This would avoid the flattened side to get even flatter.
2. Variety in the Positioning of the Baby
Hold your baby during the daytime in various positions so that they do not keep on resting their head on a surface.
3. Schedule a Regular Tummy Time
You can schedule a regular tummy time for your baby when s/he is awake so that they strengthen the neck muscles as well.
4. Use a baby helmet
You can choose to get your baby a baby helmet so that while growing, the head only gets a designated space and grows accordingly.
These are all the things that you can do as a parent. But you should know that prevention is always better than cure. So you must note down the below-given precautions so that you don’t land up having a child with a flattened head.
Here is the list of all the protection measures that you can take for your child if you want to prevent them from Craniosynostosis
- Prevent your baby from spending a lot of time in swings, car seats, and bouncy chairs. Let them move their head freely and relieve the pressure.
- Give as much time as you can in holding your baby instead of placing them in a stroller. This therapy helps your baby to reduce the pressure from the flattened area. To do this, you can use a baby wrap or a front carrier to carry your baby.
- Keep changing the positions to put your baby in the crib. This helps them to move freely and move the head and neck to face out towards the room.
- Always engage your kid with an interesting toy. This will help them volunteer the head movements on their own.
- This might sound weird, but changing your baby’s diaper from the opposite side is also helpful therapy as it will force them to try to face you. This will facilitate constant head movements.
These are all the precautions that you can take as a mother if your baby is diagnosed with a flattened head or Craniosynostosis.
The Bottom Line
We hope that you gained all the required knowledge about craniosynostosis syndrome. There is nothing to panic about in this situation, as this article shows that a minor surgery can make things better if your child is suffering from this deformity. You need to perform your job by taking all the precautions that you can to prevent your child from such deformities.