Posting this again, my plagiocephaly sticky isn't getting many hits. Not going to make this one a sticky, though, just a gentle reminder to be updated on information and aware of possible problems :)
Does your young child have a pretty bad flat spot on one side of his or her head, with a bulge on the other side? Do facial features kind of slant and aren't really symmetrical with one another, or is one eye or cheek bigger on one side then the other? Does one ear seem higher or further forward then the other ear? Your child may have plagiocephaly.
Does your young child have a very wide head, with the back of the head being kind of uniformally flat? Your child may have brachycephaly.
Does your young child have a very thin face, with the head being very very long on the sides, or does it kind of slope upwards to a cone-ish shape? Your child may have scaphocephaly.
Does your young child always look to one side, or always look like their head is tilted to one side? Your child may have torticollis, shortened or weakened neck muscles of one side which can cause any of the above situations. This condition needs physical therapy.
If you notice any of the above in your young child, please get a referral from your general pediatricion (who is not qualified to make a diagnosis) to a practicing neurosurgeon, neurologist or pediatrician who specialises in orthotics. The doctors you can be referred to who are qualified to make this diagnosis can be found at www.plagiocephaly.org , along the left hand side, under 'find a physician'. This doctor can make recommendations on the severity of your childs case, and teach you how to prevent it and fix it on your own, or may refer your child to a corrective device. The above situations have been linked as factors in some various medical impacts such as slow or delayed mental development, TMJ, poor eyesight and migraines, as well as facial deformity if severity worsens.
Prevention and proper positioning are KEY. If you are interested more, please visit my Positional Plagiocephaly thread in Bringing Up Baby, or visit:
www.cranialtech.com for general information, how to prevent, how to diagnose. Cranial Tech is the manufacturer of the corrective devices used to treat severe cases, but are very much involved in spreading awareness and helping prevention.
http://www.cappskids.org/CAPPSPlagioPreventionHandout.PDF to learn what you can do to prevent these from occurring.
www.plagiocephaly.org for general information and a search program to find neurologists/neurosurgeons/qualified orthotic pediatricians in your area.
If you are expecting a new child in your life, please keep the prevention information handy, as prevention is key. If you are not, please pass along the information to anyone you know who may be expecting or have a child under 1-2 years of age.