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What Is Flat Head Syndrome & How Can I Treat It?

Posted on Jul 31, 2023

Medically Reviewed by:  Tatiana Sikorskyj, APN, RNFA
Pediatric Advanced Nurse Practitioner
Reviewed on: October 26, 2023

Have you ever noticed a flat area on the side or back of your newborn’s head? That is called plagiocephaly, also known as “flat head syndrome.” It can be caused in-utero due to positioning within the womb or by everyday objects like car seats and mattresses. Keep reading to understand what causes this condition, why it occurs, and how to prevent it!

What is flat head syndrome?

Flat head syndrome, also known as positional plagiocephaly, is a condition in which an infant’s head develops a flattened shape. It usually occurs when a baby spends too much time lying in the same position, resulting in pressure on one area of the head. The flattening can occur on either the back or sides of the head and can be asymmetrical, causing facial features to appear distorted. The good news is that flat head syndrome is generally treatable. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment may include physical therapy or a specialized helmet to help reshape the head. In some cases, surgery may be necessary. If your baby has flat head syndrome, it’s essential to talk to your doctor about treatment options so you can decide what’s best for your child. 

How can I prevent my baby from developing flat head syndrome? 

The best way to prevent your baby from developing flat head syndrome is to encourage them to move their heads and necks as much as possible throughout their development. Try alternating positions when putting them down for sleep or playtime; switch between tummy time and back time every hour; hold them facing outwards when carrying them instead of cradling them against your chest, and use toys or mirrors during playtime to encourage them to move their heads from side-to-side. You should also take regular breaks from using car seats, bouncy seats, and strollers by holding your baby for at least 30 minutes each day.

The risks associated with flat head syndrome

Flat head syndrome, if left untreated, can have serious consequences. The flattening of the skull may increase pressure within the head, resulting in a range of cognitive and physical difficulties, including developmental delays or vision/hearing issues. More severe cases are known to cause disorders such as plagiocephaly, which affects facial growth – ultimately leading to asymmetrical features that cannot be corrected without surgery. 

How you can treat flat head syndrome

As parents, we want the best for our baby’s flat head treatment. We dream of seeing their bright eyes and sweet laughter as they reach milestones in life. But sometimes, there can be a bump in the road – like flat head syndrome (also known as plagiocephaly). This is an increasingly common condition wherein a baby’s head appears asymmetrical due to pressure exerted onto one area of the skull over time from sleep or car seat positions that always keep them facing one way. Luckily, this problem is not permanent if caught early enough, which means it can be treated with simple lifestyle changes before it has any long-term effects on your baby’s development! 

The two main treatments for Flat Head Syndrome are helmets and exercises/positions meant to alleviate strain from certain parts of your child’s skull when sleeping or playing! Helmets work by helping reshape unevenly developed areas without having to go through surgery. However, some may find this process daunting. First, you need not worry because these devices are perfectly safe and comfortable while also being stylish alternatives to more traditional forms of treatment!! In addition, research shows us that making minor adjustments like positioning babies differently when they sleep, ensuring regular breaks from car seats, etc., and using toys during playtime will help reduce chances further since those activities keep heads mobile throughout crucial developmental stages – especially between 1-4 months old (the age most at risk). If you have doubts about what steps to take, don’t hesitate to seek out medical assistance in children’s safety practices explicitly related to health risks such as Flat Head Syndrome! Most importantly though: remember that exercise helps too, so get plenty active whenever possible because nothing beats keeping fit!!

Where do I get the best treatment for flat head syndrome?

Looking for a top-notch treatment option to manage your little one’s flat head syndrome? Look no further, you have come to the right place! NJ Craniofacial Center in Morristown, New Jersey offers the latest treatments and top-notch care for flat head syndrome. The center is home to some of the most highly-trained and experienced craniofacial surgeons in the area, providing comprehensive treatment plans tailored to meet each patient’s individual needs. They offer a variety of non-surgical as well as surgical interventions to correct and manage flat head syndrome. Non-surgical treatments include the use of custom helmets, which help to gently reshape baby’s head over time without any type of intrusive surgery. The Craniofacial Center also offers a comprehensive range of surgical interventions including cranial remodeling and skull reconstruction, depending on the severity of the condition. Their team is highly dedicated in providing the best possible outcomes, so that your baby can have a happy and healthy future.  So if you are looking for an excellent facility providing top-notch care for flat head syndrome treatment, NJ Craniofacial Center in Morristown, New Jersey is the place to go!


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131 Madison Avenue, Third Floor, Morristown, NJ 07960

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