Flat Head Syndrome

Depending on a baby’s most common sleeping position, the skull takes on a different shape.


Types Of Flat Head Syndrome

Asymmetrical Brachycephaly
  • Head is excessively wider and taller than normal with sloped forehead
  • Facial asymmetry present (where ears and eyes might appear mis-aligned)
  • Combination of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, top head shape resembles a trapezoid

Brachycephaly
  • Tips of ears protrude
  • Face appears smaller to size of head
  • Widest part of head is just above ears
  • Flattened back of head visible from side view and head shape resembles a trapezoid from above
  • Head is abnormally wide (in normal head shapes, width is 73-78% of length)
  • Head can be high at the back causing a bulging forehead visible from side view

Plagiocephaly
  • Head shape resembles a parallelogram from top view
  • Facial asymmetry might be present (differing positions of ears, sizes of cheeks, eyes)
  • Most common flat head syndrome type, also known as deformational or positional plagiocephaly
  • Asymmetrical (misshapen) head shape results from repeated pressure to the same area causing flatness on one side

Scaphocephaly
  • Deformity of proportion
  • Characterised by a long and narrow head shape caused by constant positioning of the baby on one side
  • Premature babies are particularly prone to this since their skulls are fragile, side-lying positions are used in the neonatal intensive care for easy access to monitors and equipment 

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