Does your child have a ‘Flat Head’?
Does your baby have a misshapen or ‘flat head’? Plagiocephaly is a common condition experienced by many young children, where a child develops an uneven head shape due to being in the same positions for extended periods of time. In the following post, Chiropractor Dr Johanna McFadgen discusses what Plagiocephaly is, and how the MIMOS Paediatric Pillow and Chiropractic treatment can help.
What is Plagiocephaly?
Plagiocephaly is the most common craniofacial problem today. Deformational plagiocephaly, also known as positional plagiocephaly, means a misshapen or uneven (asymmetrical) head shape.
The introduction of the SIDS, ‘back to sleep’ guidelines has had a massive positive impact on infant death rates. However, since its introduction, rates of Flat Head Syndrome have also dramatically increased. Moreover, increased use of ‘laying devices’ such as capsules, baby swings/bouncers/prams etc. where babies are put on their back has also meant babies are not getting enough tummy/free movement time.
Babies’ heads are very soft in the early days/months. This is helpful during the birthing process and most cranial distortions after birth self-correct within a few hours/days. However, this also means babies are susceptible to plagiocephaly if put in the same position for long or repetitive periods of time. Some children with deformational plagiocephaly do not need any treatment at all, because the condition can improve naturally as the child grows and begins to sit up. For children where treatment is necessary, early intervention is the key. This is because the greatest amount of correction will occur before 6-12 months of age while the cranial bones are still moving. Treatment may be provided by a paediatric chiropractor or physiotherapist. If severe, they may be referred to an orthotist for helmet therapy.
How do I know if my child has Plagiocephaly?
You should consider booking an appointment with your Paediatric health care professional if your child experiences one or more of the following:
- Can you see a visible flat spot? Uneven ears, eyes or any facial asymmetry?
- Does your baby turn both ways easily? If not, there may be restricted joint or tight muscles that may need some addressing.
- Do you always hold or feed your baby on the same side? Or maybe you have noticed your baby attaches to the breast or bottle better on one side? This too can sometimes indicate an imbalance that may need addressing.
- Does your baby get enough tummy time? Or maybe they hate tummy time?
- Do they regularly sleep in capsules, prams or other restrictive devices?
How can Chiropractic treatment help with Plagiocephaly?
Chiropractic is a very gentle form of physical therapy that may help with improving tight muscles and joints associated with poor range of movement and plagiocephaly. Chiropractors can also help with prescribing different exercises, stretches and advice to help your child’s plagiocephaly.
How can the MIMOS Paediatric Pillow help with Plagiocephaly?
The MIMOS paediatric pillow can be a great early intervention device to aid in helping reduce plagiocephaly. Whilst the MIMOS pillow is a fantastic aid for helping reduce plagiocephaly, it is also recommended that you consult with a health care professional prior to using to address any underlying causes. If you have any concerns regarding your baby’s head shape or if you notice that your baby may only turn their head to one side, please talk to your local paediatric chiropractor/physiotherapist, early childhood nurse, GP or paediatrician.
Ryde Natural Health Clinic is a stockist of the MIMOS Paediatric pillow. For more information or to purchase a pillow, you can give our Reception team a call on (02) 9878 5021.
Where can I learn more about Chiropractor Dr Johanna McFadgen?
For more information on Dr Johanna McFadgen and the Chiropractic services here at Ryde Natural Health Clinic, or to book an appointment, call RNHC Reception on (02) 9878 5021, or head to https://rydenaturalhealthclinic.com.au/services/chiropractic/