What does a wide fontanelle mean?
A wide fontanelle occurs when the fontanelle is larger in size than expected for the age of the baby. Slow or incomplete ossification of the skull bones is most often the cause of a wide fontanelle. The bones of the skull are not joined together firmly at birth.
What causes large anterior fontanelle?
The most common causes of a large anterior fontanel or delayed fontanel closure are achondroplasia, hypothyroidism, Down syndrome, increased intracranial pressure, and rickets.
What does a bulging fontanelle look like?
A bulging fontanel means that the soft spot looks bigger than usual. The normally soft area may swell up taller than the rest of the skull. The baby’s head may appear to change shape, or the soft spot might look misshapen. Sometimes, the baby’s whole head looks bigger.
What causes the suture lines to widen abnormally?
Diseases or conditions that cause an abnormal increase in the pressure within the head can cause the sutures to spread apart. These separated sutures can be a sign of pressure within the skull (increased intracranial pressure). Separated sutures may be associated with bulging fontanelles.
How do I know if my baby has a bulging fontanelle?
The fontanelles should feel firm and very slightly curved inward to the touch. A tense or bulging fontanelle occurs when fluid builds up in the brain or the brain swells, causing increased pressure inside the skull. When the infant is crying, lying down, or vomiting, the fontanelles may look like they are bulging.
Why do babies have dents in their heads?
Sometimes babies are born with an indentation in their skull. These indentations can be caused by the birth process or by the way the baby was positioned in their mother’s womb. If the bones in a baby’s skull fuse prematurely, the baby’s head may appear dented or misshapen — a condition called craniosynostosis.