ANCHOR LEAD: MORE AND MORE BABIES ARE DEVELOPING FLAT HEADS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Chances are good you know someone whose baby has cranial plagiocephaly. It’s a condition where one part of an infant’s head becomes flattened because they always sleep on that side. Edward Ahn, a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, explains.
AHN: Plagiocephaly just means flatness of the head. Because of the SIDS epidemic the pediatricians, rightfully so, are encouraging parents to put their children to sleep on their back to sleep or on their back so as to reduce the incidence of the deadly outcome of SIDS but as a result we’re seeing basically an epidemic of the flatness of the head. It’s a cosmetic problem because these abnormalities are very obvious to the eye and cause a deformity which is somewhat disconcerting to especially the parents. :33
Ahn says conservative measures such as changing the infant’s sleeping position may help, but children with persistent cranial plagiocephaly may need to wear a helmet for the first nine months or so of life. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.