Quick Answer: What Happens If Head Circumference Is Small?

What does small head size indicate?

Microcephaly is a condition where the head (circumference) is smaller than normal.

Microcephaly may be caused by genetic abnormalities or by drugs, alcohol, certain viruses, and toxins that are exposed to the fetus during pregnancy and damage the developing brain tissue..

When should I be concerned about my baby’s head circumference?

For a doctor to diagnose macrocephaly, the measurement of the head around its widest part needs to be larger than the 98th percentile. Macrocephaly may sometimes be a sign of an underlying condition that requires treatment. In other cases, it may occur due to genetics, including a family history of macrocephaly.

What is the life expectancy of microcephaly?

There is no standard life expectancy for microcephalic babies because outcomes depend on so many factors, and the severity of the condition can range from mild to severe. Babies with mild microcephaly may still meet the same milestones like speaking, sitting and walking as a child without the disorder.

Are babies with small heads less intelligent?

Head circumference has essentially nothing to do with intelligence and, as long as your child’s head is average-size and regularly growing, there’s no cause for alarm when they come in a bit behind the curve. Still, a handful of preliminary studies have suggested links between brain size, head size, and intelligence.

In healthy volunteers, total brain volume weakly correlates with intelligence, with a correlation value between 0.3 and 0.4 out of a possible 1.0. In other words, brain size accounts for between 9 and 16 percent of the overall variability in general intelligence.

What does it mean if my baby’s head is not growing?

Microcephaly is a rare nervous system disorder that causes a baby’s head to be small and not fully developed. The child’s brain stops growing as it should. This can happen while the baby is still in the mother’s womb or within the first few years of birth.

Should I be concerned if my baby’s head is small?

Chances are your doctor will detect microcephaly at the baby’s birth or at a regular well-baby checkup. However, if you think your baby’s head is smaller than normal or isn’t growing as it should, talk to your doctor.

Why is my head smaller than normal?

The growth of the skull is determined by brain growth. Brain growth takes place while a baby is in the womb and during infancy. Conditions that affect brain growth can cause smaller than normal head size. These include infections, genetic disorders, and severe malnutrition.

What is the average head size?

AdultWomanManCircumference (in.)21–2322–24(cm.)53–58.556–61

What is the normal percentile for head circumference?

Data Table of Infant Head Circumference-for-age ChartsAge (in months)3rd Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters)97th Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters)0.533.2500640.100281.535.7812641.941382.537.558843.281813.538.8994444.3273334 more rows

What is a normal size baby head?

The average newborn’s head measures 13 3/4 in (35 cm) Generally, a newborn’s head is about half the baby’s body length in cm plus 10 cm. So a baby that is 18 inches long would be 45.7 centimeters (18 x 2.54). His or her head would be about 32.9 cm or a little under 13 inches.

Does a small head always mean microcephaly?

Microcephaly is a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected, compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with mild microcephaly often don’t have problems other than small head size.

At what age is microcephaly diagnosed?

Diagnosis. Early diagnosis of microcephaly can sometimes be made by fetal ultrasound. Ultrasounds have the best diagnosis possibility if they are made at the end of the second trimester, around 28 weeks, or in the third trimester of pregnancy. Often diagnosis is made at birth or at a later stage.

What is a normal head circumference at birth?

The average newborn’s head circumference measures about 13 3⁄4 inches (35 cm), growing to about 15 inches (38 cm) by one month. Because boys tend to be slightly larger than girls, their heads are larger, though the average difference is less than 1⁄2 inch (1 cm).

Can babies have small heads normal?

Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than normal. It is most often present at birth (congenital). Most children with microcephaly also have a small brain and an intellectual disability. Some children with small heads have normal intelligence.