The American Academy Of Pediatrics Recommended, How To Prevent Fʟᴀᴛ ʜᴇᴀᴅ In Babies
Follow these tips to ᴘʀᴇᴠᴇɴᴛ ᴘʟᴀɢɪᴏᴄᴇᴘʜᴀʟʏ, ᴀ sᴋᴜʟʟ ᴅᴇFᴏʀᴍɪᴛʏ ᴄᴀᴜsᴇᴅ ʙʏ ʜᴇᴀᴅ ᴍᴏʟᴅɪɴɢ in babies. Physicians have been seeing an increase in head and neck issues in infants since 1992, when the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended laying children on their backs to decrease sᴜᴅᴅᴇɴ ɪɴFᴀɴᴛ ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍe (SIDS). Although the “Back to Sleep” ᴄᴀᴍᴘᴀɪɢɴ has lowered ᴄʀɪʙ ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜs by nearly 50 percent, deformities such as ᴘʟᴀɢɪᴏᴄᴇᴘʜᴀʟʏ (also called Fʟᴀᴛ ʜᴇᴀᴅ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍe) have been on the rise. That’s because ʙᴀᴄᴋ-ʟᴀʏɪɴɢ ɪɴFᴀɴᴛs ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʟɪᴍɪᴛᴇᴅ ᴏᴘᴘᴏʀᴛᴜɴɪᴛɪᴇs ᴛᴏ ᴍᴏᴠᴇ ᴀɴᴅ sᴛʀᴇᴛᴄʜ, ᴄᴀᴜsɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ sᴏFᴛ sᴋᴜʟʟs ᴛᴏ ᴍᴏʟᴅ.
Get Moving: As babies approach two months of age, they begin to see things clearly. Move around the room so that he’ll stare at objects in all directions. This provides a passive form of ᴘʜʏsɪᴄᴀʟ ᴛʜᴇʀᴀᴘʏ, and encourages the baby to exercise his neck.
Daily ᴛᴜᴍᴍʏ Time: ᴛᴜᴍᴍʏ time helps babies develop neck and shoulder muscle control. When they’re not on their backs, babies are involved with their own ᴘʜʏsɪᴄᴀʟ ᴛʜᴇʀᴀᴘʏ, ᴇxᴇʀᴄɪsɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ɢʀᴏᴡɪɴɢ bodies. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of supervised ᴛᴜᴍᴍʏ time each day, broken up into segments. The best time to start is following the child’s first visit to the pediatrician’s office. By 4 to 6 months, your baby will be rolling over and engaging in ᴛᴜᴍᴍʏ time on his own.
Gentle Mᴀssᴀɢᴇs: If you can tell that your baby’s neck muscles are tight, or that he’s consistently holding his head in a certain position, try giving him a gentle neck massage. This should relax neck muscles and promote movement. Be aware that sometimes massage is uncomfortable for the child, because you’re shifting out of his body’s comfort zone.
Encourage Play: Grab your child’s favorite stuffed animal, pick up a brightly colored toy, or shake a rattle. Then slowly move around the room. The child’s eyes – and neck – will follow you.
Avoid Road Trips. A baby tends to hold his neck in the same position while seated in an infant seat or car carrier. When he’s sleeping, it’s better to place him flat on his back, so his neck muscles are in a neutral, sᴛʀᴇᴛᴄʜᴇᴅ position.