Beyond Achondroplasia

Growing together with Clara

Basic indications to handle a baby/young child with achondroplasia

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1. Avoid devices that bend the back: soft infant carriers, infant swings, umbrella strollers and other soft devices;

2. Use hard backed carriages, strollers and supportive devices;

3. Support the baby’s head and back of the neck at all times;

4. Avoid trying to get the baby to sit until he or she does it without help. It can take quite a long time for a child with achondroplasia to sit and each one has his/her own development times;

5. No propping with pillows to support sitting;

Boppy-branded-smaller

Observe in this image that the neck/cervical is totally unprotected and unsupported as is the spine. Credits: http://mamaot.com

6. Avoid infant walkers and jumper devices: they force head support before the baby is ready and may also cause neck injury;

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7. Pad the infant car seat around the baby’s head to support it and prevent the chin-on-the chest position;

8.Use a rear face car seat until the child is 3-4 years-old or as long as the child needs extra neck/cervical stability;

clara rear face

9. When not sleeping in the crib or bed, the best place where a baby or young child with achondroplasia can be placed is on the floor. Leave the baby on his/her back. Find a good place in your house to lay down the baby/child, for example, over a big soft rug. The floor is supportive, the baby/child can´t fall, allowing him/her to roll over and/or start to develop free movements (gross motor development);

half-way-there

 

Article based on Handling The Newborn And Young Infant With Achondroplasia By Dr. Cheryl S. Reid, M.D. FAAP Member. Medical Advisory Board, LPA, Inc. 

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