• strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_content_plugin_display_panel_pane::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/ctools/views_content/plugins/views/views_content_plugin_display_panel_pane.inc on line 386.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 149.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_term_node_tid::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/views_handler_filter_term_node_tid.inc on line 303.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/momtips/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.

Head Growth in Children

Ask Dr. Paul

 

DEAR DR.PAUL: My son is 18 months old and at his last couple of physicals the doctor has shown some concern about his head circumference, which is 47.5 cm. Should I be concerned about his head being too small?

 

PEDIATRICIAN DR.PAUL Answers: Head growth occurs at its most rapid rate during the first year of life. The head grows to almost 80 per cent of the adult size during the first year, then grows at a slower pace. Importantly, head circumference growth indirectly is a measure of brain growth. The skull of a baby is made up of several bones that are not fully joined to allow for this growth. The head circumference is taken by placing a paper or plastic measuring tape around the child's head above the forehead. Both the actual size of the head and more importantly, the rate at which it grows are important components of the routine baby check up. What can go wrong? Well, if the head is too large, or growing too quickly, or on the other hand, if the head is too small or growing too slowly, these are signs of possible problems. Having said that, in your son's situation, looking at just one value in time is difficult as we need to assess the growth pattern. This is best done by plotting the head circumference on a chart, much in the same way as the height and weight are recorded and followed at each pediatric check up. The head following a normal growth rate is the most important sign that things are normal. Also, for an 18-month-old boy the average (median) head circumference is 48.4 cm or 19.1 inches, with the normal range between 46.3-50.6 cm (18.2-19.9 inches). If the head circumference is smaller than 46.3 cm (18.2 inches), the lower limit of normal range, but the rate of growth is normal, then we think of familial microcrania...a tendency for a small head, where growth and development occur perfectly normally otherwise. In this case, a measurement of the parents' head size often shows that one of them has a small head. Actually the same is true for a larger than normal head that follows a normal pattern or growth rate: This is known as familial macrocrania or large head, that runs in the family. Again one of the parents will likely have a larger than normal head. It is important to have your baby's head circumference measured regularly. It is really the rate of growth of the head that we want to focus on, rather than the actual size itself. In this way we can screen for both the slowing down or acceleration of head growth, both of which are conditions that need prompt (in some cases urgent) investigation and attention.

 

 


 

The information provided in this site is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child's physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition, always consult a physician.

 

ASK DR. PAUL

I invite you to send me your child health and wellness related questions. One of the the most satisfying aspects of being a pediatrician is answering parents' questions and concerns. As a doctor, I feel that the more you know about your child's health and wellness (in terms of illness, normal growth and development and, importantly, prevention), the more comfortable you can be with your kids! A new column is posted every Friday and appears in the newspapers listed below. Unfortunately, I cannot give personal replies but will answer as many questions as possible in my weekly column.

Ask DR. PAUL Your Question

Meet Dr. Paul

 

 

Dr.Paul Communications Inc., All rights reserved