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Flat head, do I need to worry?

(7 Posts)
Megastar Mon 08-Aug-11 16:22:37

My 4 month old girl has a very flat head and people keep asking me about it, should I be getting her looked at? Will it return to normal on it's own or will she need something done? My son didn't have this so i'm not sure if I should be doing anything about it?

TheOriginalFAB Mon 08-Aug-11 20:19:08

You need to get her asymetry checked and asap. She could have plagiocephaly. There are lots of threads and posts about it on here. Make sure it isn't the circumference that is measured. Does your daughter have full and free movement of her neck?

hophophippidtyhop Mon 08-Aug-11 20:24:31

You need to look up plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. It is something that the nhs will not treat - they insist it is cosmectic only and "they'll grow out of it" which is not always the case. I have been taking my dd to a paediatric osteopath, which has made a difference. He said there where tensions and stress areas in her head which was preventing the skull growing how you would expect - he likened it to if you tied some string around a growing apple, it would affect the shape.
this site has some great information.I have been going here, where they train osteopaths to be paediatric ones, and they have been great. If Wandsworth is hard to get to, they will be able to recommend someone near you.
At 4 months you can try some repositioning alongside any treatment you decide to have. I didn't go till my dd was 8 months, but the sooner the better really.Head growth slows down from 14 months, so there will be less change after this age. The places that do the helmets can measure the head to determine how severe it is, luckily dd's was mild and I didn't go down this route, but the assessment is usually free.

WheeshtWillYe Mon 08-Aug-11 23:42:01

Yes, do something about it now. As above, have a quick read of previous threads on plagiocephaly.

At 4 months repositioning can still be of great benefit. Every night change which way round in the crib your dd faces & also move any crib toys and even the postion of the crib in the room if possible. Also have a look at what your dd does during the day. Do you position her bouncy chair or whatever in the same place? Move it around so she doesn't always look the same way (usually at you!).

You also want to check to see that she doesn't have torticollis - weakness of the neck muscles that can lead to plagiocephaly. But be warned HV's & GP's are not always good at spotting this.

In my experience the GP was rather dismissive of my concerns about the shape of my son's head until I really pressed it at about 6 months. By then a window for simple yet effective treatment like repositioning had passed & we had to go through another 3 months of referrals before we had a diagnosis of mild torticollis & began Starband treatment for his plagiocephaly. Don't be aware to be a bit pushy so you get the advice / information you need as time is a factor.

For what it's worth my DS has been wearing a Starband for 3 months now & we have seen great results. It's expensive (luckily we have insurance) & it is a big commitment but we are glad we made the decision to go ahead with it. But I will always wish I had been better informed about plagiocephaly and had acted earlier.

Let me know if I can give any more info.

Maryz Mon 08-Aug-11 23:58:23

Yes, take it seriously and go to your gp. But don't google it or the results with frighten the shite out of you.

There are treatments for strange shaped heads - in the old days they were operated on, nowadays the fashion is to use helmets. More often than not, though, these things normalise over time, so any doctor you are referred to may just tell you to wait and see.

There are cases where treatment is needed for medical reasons, but often treatment is only recommended for "cosmetic" reasons, i.e. to make the head a "nicer" shape.

Anyone who has treated their child, either surgically or by helmet wearing will swear that the treatment was a success and that the head normalised, and everything is great. But the vast number of children who are untreated also normalise, and the outcome is good (with obviously less stress and less expense).

My ds had very severe plagiocephally - he was missed at the hospital and when he was picked up at the age of 3 the consultant was very interested in following his progress. Had he been diagnosed, he would certainly have been operated on, we did worry for a while as his seriously mis-shaped skull might have led to brain damage. But he is a fine, happy, intelligent 13 year old now, with an odd-shaped head, but with no medical issues whatsoever. So don't panic. Research if you must, but try to stick to UK not US sites as many of the US sites are rather frightening "ads" for cosmetic procedures.

Megastar Tue 09-Aug-11 09:52:27

Thanks all for your responses, I will look up plagiocehally. To be honest she has good head and neck control and other than her head is very flat at the back i had no other concerns.I don't want to sound like a mum who needs a 'perfect' baby but would hate her to think I was too lazy to help her if the solution is simple! I'm off to do a little reading and hopefully not cause myself to panicsmile

TheOriginalFAB Tue 09-Aug-11 10:17:56

It can cause problems later if it isn't treated when a baby.

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