The Cranial Cervical Clinic evaluates and treats infants and young children with plagiocephaly (abnormal shape of the head) and torticollis (asymmetrical posturing of the head, or head tilt, also known as “wry neck”).

If you, or your child’s pediatrician, suspect your child’s head or skull isn’t forming normally, the Cranial Cervical Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute can evaluate your child’s head shape and determine what therapy options are appropriate.

Most plagiocephaly develops when a baby sleeps on their backs or from being placed in car seats, strollers or bouncy seats, creating a flat area. Premature infants or babies that spend a lot of time in a NICU can also form a flattened head.

Early intervention is key for successful outcomes. Therefore we recommend an evaluation at our clinic between 3 and 18 months of age. The majority of children who develop an abnormal shape of the head do not require surgery and are otherwise healthy.

Non-surgical therapy options for treatment include:

  • Increased tummy time to improve neck strength
  • Physical therapy with special exercises to increase stretching the neck.
  • Helmet therapy to reshape the skull
  • Parents and caregivers should always place babies on their backs to sleep as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) even with a possibility of a flat head.

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