Cranial Remolding and Car Seats
The incidence of cranial remolding seems to be on the rise in recent years, and this change raises some interesting questions. The most obvious being, why is this happening now? I think there are many reasons why we are seeing these children more and more in our offices, improved education, increased multiple births, torticollis etc. But today let's focus on one simple enviromental factor that often gets overlooked, the all inclusive rolling babysitter that is the modern carseat/stroller combo.
It has never been so easy to run five hundred errands with your child and avoid having to actually hold them. Now bear with me for a moment, I have two children so I understand the challenges presented by going to the store with young children. I also know how convienient it is to put a child into their carseat, transfer them from the car to the stroller to do your shopping and then put them back in the car to drive home. Now, what happens when the child falls asleep in the carseat before we get home? That's right, we bring them inside and let them sleep in their seat.
I speak of the above scenario sarcastically, but in truth, it is a reality in our society. I am not saying carseats are bad or even that utilizing them in conjunction with a stroller is in any way wrong, but the problem with this is that before you know it the child has just spent 5 hours laying on their back. This has occurred in the middle of the day so by the time you tack on another nap and then bedtime, many of these children are simply spending too much on their backs.
So please, encourage you parents to pick their children up, hold them, utilize tummy time and try to reduce the amount of time they spend on their backs. Encourage these children to work against gravity and you will see improvements in their devlopmental and functional skills, while reducing the risk of cranial deformation.