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Friday, February 26, 2010

Flat Head News

A paper in Pediatrics has linked "flat head syndrome" with early neurodevelopment disadvantage. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2009-0052v1
Ever since the fear of SIDS led to the recommendation that babies be put to sleep on their backs (unlike when I raised my kids and the exact opposite was recommended), there has been a dramatic rise in "flat head syndrome" usually felt to be positional and correctable in the majority of cases with positional correction and other simple interventions.  At the same time a recent study have linked SIDS to a brain stem abnormality. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202171811.htm
So one might ask if all this insistence on putting babies on their backs is really a good thing? Or, in fact, given that most Western babies are placed almost continuously on their backs and only a relatively small percentage get "Flat head syndrome", might these infants have some type of genetic predisposition to developmental delay and as such the syndrome is just that-a linked group of features rather than cause and effect.


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