Plagiocephaly is the most common kind of skull deformity. Plagiocephaly has been diagnosed extremely frequently in the recent years, which probably is a result of the campaign promoting supine sleeping of infants. Even though the basic idea of the action is right and its introduction decreased the occurrence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) by 40%, the increased number of cases of positional plagiocephaly has been a side effect. The infant’s skull is very soft and flexible, therefore any long pressure on its small area may result in deformities.
Another cause of plagiocephaly is torticollis, which is a congenital muscular dystrophy with 85% rate of incidence in children with plagiocephaly.Children with torticollis have their neck’s muscles shorter on one side, which makes it difficult for them to move their head to the other side.As a consequence, they prefer to sleep in one position only: with their head turned to one side.The habit of long-term lying down with the head on one side usually results in visible facial asymmetry.
In case of plagiocephaly, when you look at the child’s head from above, its shape resembles a parallelogram.
Remember! Plagiocephaly may lead to asymmetry in the child’s face and in some cases you might notice other serious changes:
- one eye seems to be larger than the other (protruding)
- eyes position is asymmetrical
- ears position is asymmetrical (one ear protruding, the other is more backward)
- the forehead is bigger on one side
- the cheek looks fuller on one side