All parents are concerned about those tender areas on the baby’s head, which are called fontanelles. How many fontanels are there in total? What are they like? When do they overgrow, and what can they tell you about?
The content of the article:
How many fontanels do children have: a large, small fontanelle in a child
In total, a newborn has crumbs on the head 6 fontanelles, of which 5 are closed for childbirth or, in some cases, by the end of 1-3 months after birth – 4 temporal and one small occipital. Large frontal fontanelle drags on the longest.
What you need to know about fontanelles?
- The fontanelle is called “Gap” between several cranial bones, covered with connective tissue, which, in turn, gradually ossifies and contributes to the closure of the fontanelle.
- The key role of fontanelles is ensuring “firmness” and elasticity of the skull during childbirth and during the first years after them.
- The open large fontanelle contributes to a kind of protection of the skull: elastic deformation of the skull on impact protects the baby from serious injury by damping the kinetic energy of the impact.
The size of the fontanelle in a child; when is the child’s fontanelle overgrown?
The closure of the large fontanelle is monitored by the pediatrician at each examination. Why is such control needed? The fontanelle condition can be serious a signal of any disease or change in the child’s body, therefore, protrusion and retraction, as well as early closure or, on the contrary, later, may indicate the need for examination and treatment.
So, what are the norms for the size and timing of fontanelle closure?
- Formula for calculating fontanelle sizeused by doctors is as follows: transverse diameter of the fontanelle (in cm) + longitudinal (in cm) / by 2.
- The average solution of the small fontanel (at the back of the head, in the shape of a triangle) is 0.5-0.7 cm… Its closure takes place on 1-3 month after childbirth.
- The middle solution of the large fontanelle (on the crown, diamond-shaped) – 2.1 cm (by formula)… Fluctuations – 0.6-3.6 cm.Close – at 3-24 months.
The truth and myths about the fontanelle in children: what can the fontanelle in children really tell about?
There are many disputes, misconceptions and myths among the people regarding the timing of the tightening of fontanelles and their condition. What should parents know?
- There is no hard and fast rule in the size of the fontanelle. Size is an individual matter, the limits of the norm are 0.6-3.6 cm.
- The size of the large fontanelle may increase in the first months of life due to the rapid development of the brain.
- The closing time of the fontanelle is also individual., as the first steps, teeth and the first “mom, dad”.
- The size of the fontanelle has nothing to do with the timing of its closure.
- The growth of the bones of the skull occurs due to the expansion of the edges of the skull in the areas of the seams and an increase in the cranial bones in the central part. The suture in the center of the forehead closes at 2 years (on average), while the rest remain open up to 20 years, due to which the skull grows to its natural adult size.
- Accelerate the tightening of the fontanelle vitamin D with calcium are capable only in case of their deficiency.
- Cancellation of vitamin D for fear that the “fontanelle will close too quickly” is, in most cases, wrong decision of parents… The timing of the tightening of the fontanel is 3-24 months. That is, there is no talk of a “quick” delay. But the abolition of vitamin D is a more serious threat to the health of the baby.
- Careful probing of the fontanelle (from the outside it looks like a diamond-shaped pulsating area – slightly sunken or convex) cannot harm the baby – it is much stronger than it seems to parents…
- Late closure and too large fontanelle size may be signs of rickets, congenital hypothyroidism (deterioration of the thyroid gland), achondrodysplasia (a rare disease of bone tissue), chromosomal disease, congenital diseases of the skeleton.
- Early closure (earlier 3 months) fontanelle, in combination with insufficient fontanelle size and head circumference lagging behind the norm, may indicate diseases of the skeletal system and anomalies in the development of the brain.
- In a healthy baby, the location of the fontanelle is slightly higher or lower than the bones of the skull that surrounds it. And also there is a noticeable pulsation of the fontanelle. In case of severe retraction or protrusion of the fontanel, you should consult a doctor for possible diseases.
- Sunken fontanelle often becomes a consequence of dehydration of the body. In this case, the baby is shown to drink plenty of fluids and urgently consult a doctor.
- When the fontanelle protrudes a doctor’s examination is also required. The cause may be an illness accompanied by increased intracranial pressure (swelling, meningitis, and other serious illnesses). If a protruding fontanelle is combined with symptoms such as fever, vomiting, head trauma, fainting, sudden drowsiness, seizures, or other unexpected symptoms, a doctor should be called immediately.
As for the care of the fontanelle – he does not need special protection… It is also possible to wash this area of the head when bathing a newborn completely calmly, after which it can not be wiped off, but easily blotted with a towel.
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