Craniosynostosis: What Parents Need to Know

Posted On Thursday, 02 May 2019
Craniosynostosis: What Parents Need to Know

If your baby has been diagnosed with craniosynostosis, you are most likely feeling a level of anxiety. You also probably have a lot of questions. Ahead, learn more about this condition and what you can do to help your baby.

Facts About Craniosynostosis
Most babies are born with fibrous tissue connecting the seven plates of the skull. In some children, these plates fuse to one another too early. This condition, craniosynostosis, is problematic because it doesn’t allow enough space for the brain growth that must happen early in life.

In most cases of craniosynostosis, just one of the fibrous joints closes too soon. Complex craniosynostosis occurs when multiple plates fuse prematurely.

Symptoms You Might Notice
Gently feel your baby’s head. Young babies are born with soft spots where there is fibrous tissue instead of solid bone. If your infant lacks these soft spots, that may be an indication of craniosynostosis. Instead, you may feel strange bumps or ridges.

It’s also a cause for concern if your baby has soft spots that are unusual in appearance. A soft spot shouldn’t protrude outward or look swollen.

You may also notice that your baby’s head shape is small or unusual. Depending on the location of the fusion, it could cause the head to become flattened, pointed, lengthened, or widened. The ear or eye on one side of the face might sit at a different level than on the other side.

You baby might experience painful or uncomfortable side effects as well. Children with this condition can have trouble feeding, vomit frequently, or have seizures.

Complications That Can Occur
Left untreated, craniosynostosis can cause lifelong issues. In addition to having a misshapen head, people with this condition might experience blindness, developmental delays, low energy, seizures, and other problems associated with too much pressure in the skull.

Craniosynostosis often occurs on its own. In some cases, however, it is just one symptom of an underlying disorder. Therefore, if your child is diagnosed with this condition, the doctor may want to test for related disorders in order to make sure that your child receives well-rounded, effective treatment.

Steps to Take
Fortunately, if the condition is caught early, there are effective treatments for craniosynostosis. Your baby will probably need to have surgery. This is best to do before your child turns one year old.

Wearing a special helmet can help to reshape your baby’s head. This can improve skull shape and facial appearance.

Although it can be scary to learn that your baby has this condition, there is treatment available for craniosynostosis. With proper treatment, your baby’s brain will have plenty of space to grow.

Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Twitter: @LizzieWeakley
Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

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