Bradycephaly: definition and management

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La bradycephaly is a medical term used to describe a condition where a baby's head has a flat or misshapen shape. This condition is becoming more common, probably due to the prevalence of the supine position recommended for the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome. But is it serious? How can we treat it? The answers in the article.

Definition of bradycephaly

La bradycephaly can be defined as the flat head syndrome. It is also called theocciput flat. And to understand it, you have to know the occiput well. As part of the occipital bone, the latter constitutes the posterior and lower middle part of the head. Its role is to:

  • move the head up and down;
  • support the head with the ligaments;
  • protect the brain.

La bradycephaly then manifests as a asymmetrical or uniform flattening of the back of the baby's head, usually due to prolonged pressure exerted on the skull when the baby is lying on his back. Risk factors include a preference for a particular sleeping position, lack of tummy time, and low neck muscle tone.

craniocephaly1 Bradycephaly

Although bradycephaly is generally considered a benign condition, it can lead to long-term aesthetic and functional problems. It is therefore important to take care of it correctly.

Bradycephaly: how to take care of the baby?

La management of bradycephaly can include several approaches. In mild or moderate cases, simple measures may be recommended.

  • Use alternate sleeping positions to reduce pressure on baby's skull. For example, alternating the sides the baby sleeps on can help avoid excessive flattening of just one part of the head.
  • Exercises for muscle strengthening and stimulation of the head and neck may be recommended to support healthy craniofacial development. These exercises can include gentle head massages, gentle neck movements, and toys positioned to encourage baby to turn their head sideways.
  • Limit time spent in devices such as strollers and car seats which hold the head in a fixed position.

In some more severe cases, cranial helmets special may be prescribed to help reshape the shape of the baby's head. These devices are specially designed to apply gentle, even pressure to the parts of the skull that need correction.

The helmet must be worn for several months and regular adjustments are made to follow the growth of the baby's skull. It is essential to note that successful treatment depends on parental cooperation and compliance with wearing helmet recommended by the healthcare professional.

With the proper measures, bradycephaly can be effectively treated and the associated risks can be minimized. In addition, regular consultations with a pediatrician can help to quickly detect any early signs of bradycephaly and put in place appropriate preventive measures.


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