Giving Info about Plagiocephaly at birth in Wales
This is to call on the Welsh Assembly Government to provide information on plagiocephaly, also known as flat-head syndrome, for all new mothers at birth. The aim of this is to reduce the number of cases arising in Wales. Plagiocephaly is where the head has become flattened at the back and/or side. Research estimates that it affects 50% of all babies under one. It can be caused in the womb before birth, after birth by stiff neck muscles (torticollis), or by long periods of time spent with the head resting in one position on a firm flat surface. This can happen if a baby continually rests its head in one position whilst sleeping, in car seats, pushchairs, bouncy seats, baby swings, moses baskets and so on. The number of cases of plagiocephaly has increased since the Back to Sleep campaign, where parents are advised to place their baby to sleep on its back. This is good advice and is saving lives. However, the advice should be supplemented with recommendations that would ensure that plagiocephaly is avoided in the first place or improved if it is already present. Recommending that babies be carried more in different positions, be given regular supervised tummy time when awake during the day and are not placed against hard surfaces continually, would dramatically reduce the incidence of deformational plagiocephaly in Wales. In Scotland, mothers are now given a leaflet at birth explaining what plagiocephaly is, how it can occur and how to prevent it happening. Where plagiocephaly is being brought to the attention of midwives, health visitors and GPs, they are continually advising parents that their babies heads will round out on their own or that future hair growth will cover the deformity. This is simply not true in many cases and is unacceptable to the majority of parents. We, the undersigned,: Want an informative leaflet to be produced (similar to that in Scotland) and given at birth to advise new parents in Wales about Plagiocephaly. The closing date for this petition is 31st December 2007.