Conditions

Misshapen Head

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Misshapen head, also called ‘flat head syndrome’ or ‘positional plagiocephaly’ is a common condition which means, as the name suggests, that the head is slightly out of shape. In newborn babies the plates which make up the skull are not quite joined and pressure can push them out of shape. The condition is not harmful, it does not affect the brain, and by being attentive to the situation you can make sure the condition rights itself naturally.

There are two main causes of misshapen head. This first occurs during pregnancy when the baby’s head is moulded as it develops in the womb. A more common cause though, is laying a baby down on its back, or letting the head rest against the back of a chair for long periods of time, thereby putting more pressure on the back of the head as it grows.

The condition affects about half of all babies during the first year – many more than used to be the case. One reason why it’s become so common is because parents are now advised to make sure babies sleep on their back in order to avoid sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS, or cot death).

It’s still very important to follow the ‘back to sleep’ advice, but there are a number of things you can do to minimise misshapen head. Make sure your baby does not lie in the same position for too long. When your baby is lying down you will probably find that he or she prefers to lie on one side rather than the other. Place yourself on the side your baby doesn’t like. This will prevent him or her from remaining in one position. You should also put toys etc on this side, prompting him to move, alter the direction in which your baby sleeps in the cot, and let your baby lie on his tummy while you play.

One recent development in treating the condition is for your baby to wear a helmet which gently moulds the skull back into the right shape. However these are expensive (up to £2,000), are worn almost constantly for several months, and funding is only available at a limited number of NHS hospitals.

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I really need some advice- my son is nearly 12 months now and has a cone shape but to the back of his head. Iv asked dr for advice and all he said was 'it's fine' but to be honest it's VERY noticeable. Can you suggest a specialist I can take him too? Or any specific nhs dept? As my dr is really not helping. My son always slept with his head to one side, despite everything that we did; so the back of his head didn't have a chance to flatten out.





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I've only recently realised that the back of my head is really quite flat. I'm 16. I've asked my mum if she thinks it is and she just laughs when I ask about it?? Is there anything I can do at this age?





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I'm 14 now and the back of my head is flat, is there anything I can do to change it?





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My son is 14 and has a flat head at the back it is causing him psychological problems and he has little social life is there anything that can be done now?





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Can I start helmet treatment for a 6 year old girl?





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I am 19 and the front of my head is flat and long so is the back of my head, is there anything I can do?





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Hi, I'm wondering if flat head syndrome can be treated for 4 year old? if it is not treatable, can any action be taken make it less severe? about the flat head pillows, could you recommend me one that really works? thanks!





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Have you gotten any info on this yet. We are on the same situation.

hiya my son is 3years old now, having the same situation like ur child, have you gotten any suggestion or treatment? please can you share it thanks

Hi My daughter is 21 weeks old and she has flat head syndrome it has got worse over the weeks I have done reposioning therapy for a while and it does not seem to work can you recommend anything else Melanie burrows





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Do you know if your little one has torticollis which is restriction of movement in the neck due to tightened muscles? There is a number of treatment options from physiotherapy techniques through to STARband helmet treatment but it depends on the severity of your little ones flattening. If you have a look at the following link it has a number of quesitons asked by parents in a smiliar position to yourself. http://www.vitalityinmotion.co.uk/faqs.php I hope that helps. Lisa

my daughter is 4months old and has been referred to a paediatricion because her head measured 43cm and was in the 90th percentile, is this larger than normal and what will they do at her appointment.....





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I have a miss shapen head at the back its like a big lump im 15 is there anything i can do ?





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