In our last post, we discussed Physical Therapy advice for parents and talked on the importance of positioning your child correctly to avoid problems. Here is more information on that topic and how to avoid plagiocephaly.
With the miracle of a baby’s birth, there is an overwhelming sense to provide care and nurturing in the best way possible. Parents know the importance of the basics… health, safety and love. But the new infant is also dependent on us for positioning and movement. Too much time in one position can actually change a baby’s head shape – a condition know as plagiocephaly.
The Check List
As a physical therapist, the increased incidence of plagiocephaly facilitates the need to provide help for families – both prevention and early intervention. Following is a quick check list for parents:
- Supervised TUMMY TIME during awake hours (www.starbandkids.com).
- Change positions frequently.
- Play with baby to encourage overall development (basic checklists are available to help you know “what’s next”).
- Do not overuse infant positioning devices, and alternate frequently.
- Watch to see if baby’s head seems to tilt or turn more to one side – this may indicate a condition known as torticollis (i.e. neck muscle tightness).
Potential Next Steps
Repositioning is a first line of defense for plagiocephaly. However, if this is not sufficient to address a concern, a Cranial Remolding Orthosis (i.e. helmet) may be an appropriate course of treatment. At Children’s Care Rehab Center / Rehabilitation Medical Supply, I experience a unique opportunity to work with infants in this capacity. As Pascal said, “Symmetry is what we see at a glance,” so each day gives us the privilege to problem-solve, educate and provide options for caring parents and their newest family member.
- Annette Vollan-Kerber, PT, MS, PCS
Children’s Care Physical Therapist