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Flat Head Syndrome

Baby Wellness: Preventing Flat Head

For years now, the American Association of Pediatrics has promoted the "Back to Sleep Campaign" to help reduce the risk of SIDS. Since the campaign started nearly 13 years ago, SIDS-related deaths have decreased by more than 50 percent. While that stat is something to cheer about, there is one drawback to babies snoozing on their backs — they may develop flat areas on their heads if they stay in one position too long. Pediatricians generally check to ensure infants are not developing such an issue. If, however, a child appears to have areas of concern, there are steps that a parent can take to keep a nice round noggin and prevent positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head. To see what they are,

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  • When putting baby down to rest, alternate the head's position every time to keep one side from getting too worn down.
  • Place baby on his tummy as often as possible so there is no head-to-bed contact. It will also encourage him to strengthen his core and neck muscles.
  • Don't let the child rest in stationary seats too long (i.e. car seats, swings and bouncy seats.)

If a baby's noggin remains flat, consult your doctor about possible head-shaping options.
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