Part of the prevention of Flat Head Syndrome is knowing the causes. Are they biological, environmental or both?
While we've seen that deformational plagiocephaly can be both biological and environmental, positional plagiocephaly is more likely environmental, due to the nature of positioning.
Biological Causes of Flat Head Syndrome
Causes of deformational plagiocephaly before birth include:
- Pressure inside a uterus that is either too small or crowded (in a multiple birth pregnancy).
- Unusual fetal positioning inside the uterus.
- A uterus that contains too little amniotic fluid.
- Premature birth
- High birth rate
- Restricted neck movement due to torticollis
Other biological risk factors include the prevalence of this occurring more frequently in males, babies who drop early and are positioned against the uterus,
Environmental Causes of Flat Head Syndrome
Environmental causes include:
- Feeding position - never switching sides
- Infrequent or no tummy time, meaning the baby is spending too much time on it's back
- Low educational status of parents
- Obstetric interventions during birth
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Linz C, Kunz F, Bohm H, Schweitzer T. Positional skull deformities- etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2017; 114: 535-42.