Just what is pla­gio­cephaly?

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your -

PLA­GIO­CEPHALY is a con­di­tion where a baby’s skull is flat­tened in one area, mak­ing it look par­al­lel­o­gram-shaped.

The mains signs of the con­di­tion in­clude a flat­ten­ing to the side or straight across the back of the baby’s head, a mis­align­ment of the ears, bulging fore­head on the same side as the flat­ten­ing, and one eye ap­pear­ing larger than the other, or slightly higher than the other.

The ma­jor­ity of ba­bies are not born with the con­di­tion, but de­velop it in the first few weeks of their life, usu­ally at about four to eight weeks of age.

This is known as po­si­tional pla­gio­cephaly, and can be due to a num­ber of fac­tors, in­clud­ing a con­di­tion called tor­ti­col­lis, which is the tight­en­ing of the neck mus­cles, and pro­longed pres­sure from hard sur­faces such as car seats, hard floors, and cot mat­tress.

Of the small per­cent­age of ba­bies born with pla­gio­cephaly, the causes can in­clude a lack of am­ni­otic fluid in the womb, a dif­fi­cult birth, pro­longed time in the birth canal, ex­ter­nal force to the head, for ex­am­ple in a for­ceps de­liv­ery, and the po­si­tion of the baby in utero.

An­other form of pla­gio­cephaly is cran­iosyn­to­sis, which is caused by the bones in a baby’s head fus­ing too quickly.

This lat­ter con­di­tion must be treated ur­gently to en­sure that there is enough room for the brain to grow.

Al­ways speak to your GP or health vis­i­tor if you have any con­cerns about your baby.

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