THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF POTENTIAL SKULL DEVELOPMENT ISSUES ALL NEW PARENTS SHOULD KNOW
New parents are often surprised by how just how quickly their infants grow. That growth is taking place throughout their bodies, including their skulls. Your baby’s head has soft plates inside that have spaces between them. As baby ages over the first year, those plates grow and gradually harden and come together. The first six to eight months of your baby’s life is an especially important time to keep an eye on the shape of their skull. As you watch baby grow, it’s important to monitor for the following signs and symptoms of potential skull development issues.
Flat Spots On Side of Skull or An Uneven Appearance
If baby spends too long in the same position, the skull’s soft plates can develop a flat spot on one side, making it look uneven. This can also sometimes occur prior to birth due to pressure in the womb. This condition, which is referred to as plagiocephaly, is not dangerous to baby’s brain, but it is something that is best addressed when the skull has yet to fully harden.
Flat Spots On Back of Skull
Brachycephaly is similar to plagiocephaly, except it is the back of the head that becomes flattened. In some cases, this can cause the head to widen and the forehead to bulge out.
Troubles Turning the Head
If baby is experiencing tightness in their neck muscles, it can prevent the head from turning in a particular way, which can place more pressure on one side of their head.
What to Do If You See Any of These Signs or Symptoms
If you see any of these signs or symptoms, speak to your doctor about your concerns. They will examine your baby’s head and make suggestions about things you can do. This could include things you can do yourself, like tummy time exercises and alternating their position more frequently. They may also recommend expert assistance, such as physiotherapy, to help loosen and strengthen tight muscles. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a cranial remolding helmet.
PBO Group’s Toronto, Niagara, Kawartha, Barrie and Owen Sound clinics offer cranial remolding helmets. Our Certified Orthotists work closely with area family doctors and pediatricians to create custom cranial remolding helmets to address skull flat spots or asymmetries in infants. Using a 3D-scanner they carefully measure and capture detailed statistics about baby’s head and use that information to craft a custom helmet that is a true reflection of your child’s unique needs and personality.
It’s important to note that the timeframe for addressing skull issues in infants is limited. If you’re concerned about potential concerns with your infant’s head, address them as soon as possible. Good next steps include:
- Making an appointment for an assessment with your family doctor or pediatrician
- If your doctor or pediatrician determines that a cranial remolding helmet is required, get a referral to a clinic that can create a custom helmet quickly (Your doctor can download the appropriate PBO Group clinic’s pediatric referral form here)
- Visiting the Cranial Remolding page on our PBO Group website to learn more and get answers to questions we frequently receive from parents and caregivers
- Watching our Cranial Remolding 101 Broadcast
Why Choose PBO Group For Your Baby?
In crafting over 1,000 custom helmets for babies over the last decade, we have developed highly specialized knowledge within our PBO Group team. We are one of the few cranial helmet producers in Ontario who can craft both fibreglass and 3D-printed helmets. You can learn more about the differences between these two helmet types in this blog post. Our PBO Group clinics in Toronto, Niagara, Barrie, Peterborough and Owen Sound regularly receive glowing feedback from the parents and caregivers that we work with to create custom helmets for their infants. Here are just a few of our happy clients and recent helmets!