The High Authority for Health (HAS) has just published an advice sheet for parents to avoid the flat head effect called plagiocephaly. Objective: to make them understand what causes this phenomenon and to give them the means to act.
The High Authority for Health had announced that it would prepare information documents on plagiocephaly, after being seized, in April 2017, by the association Le Lien, which was alarmed by the resurgence of cases of plagiocephaly. “flat head”. The HAS presents the results of this work in the form of a memo card intended for parents to prevent this deformation of the infant’s skull, characterized by asymmetric flattening, on the back or one side of the head, and linked to the infant lying on the back.
Encourage the baby to look to the sides
To prevent flat head, the infant must be left “free to move the head and body, day or night” underlines the HAS in its document.
- Vary his positions during ground play activities: arrange his toys around him to encourage him to look to the sides.
- When changing, gradually get him used to being on his stomach: he will build his neck and back muscles.
- With each bottle or breastfeed, remember to change arms: your baby will turn his head to catch your eyes.
Advice when your baby is sleeping : continue to lie down on his back, on a firm mattress, in a sleeping bag. But :
- Do not use bed reducers, head restraints and baby wedges: this will allow it to move freely.
- Let him look in all directions, without the bumper.
“Mechanical and even cognitive complications”
This work of the High Authority for Health was motivated in particular by “an increase in the frequency of cranial asymmetry (…) since the implementation of recommendations for sleeping on the back to prevent sudden infant death” and by “the absence of French work on this subject”, explained the HAS in 2017, before discussing the risks associated with this syndrome: “Plagiocephaly can lead to mechanical complications, on the maxillofacial or cervico-brachial level, even cognitive “.
For its part, the Association française de chiropraxie (AFC) suggests alternating baby’s sleeping positions: “place his head towards the end of the bed on even days and down the bed on odd days. As the baby’s head is attracted to the light, the pressure will not always be on the same side of the head.
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