View Full Version : I just posted the following at Handbag.com....

6th May 2005, 05:41 PM
Hi chaps,

I thought it might be a good idea to post something about scoliosis on some forums that I belong to, just in case there are any parents out there who have been worrying about their children's backs but have told themselves that they are just being paranoid. I posted the following in three forums at Handbag.com: the Baby, Toddler, and Early Learning forums - hopefully the moderators there won't mind.

Toni xx


Hi everyone,

I'm not sure if it's OK to post this here, maybe a mod will remove it if not.

I was born with Scoliosis, which is a condition that causes the spine to curve into a 'C' or and 'S' shape. I have had a lot of treatment and surgery for it, and I now help to run a support and information site for people affected by the condition.

Lately we've been getting quite a few new members who are parents of very young children and babies who have been diagnosed with scoliosis. In a lot of these cases, the parents noticed that their child's back looked a little uneven quite a while ago, but had dismissed them as being the worries of over-anxious new parents. I've even heard of cases where parents have mentioned their concerns to their Health Visitor or GP, only to be dismissed in a similar way.

Now, the important thing with infantile scoliosis is that it should be treated as soon as possible. Without treatment, the curves progress as a child grows, making it a lot harder to treat the condition as they get older. If caught in time, scoliosis in infants can actually be halted and even reversed. If left untreated, it can lead to severe deformity and the potential for respiratory problems.

I just thought I'd post here to give a heads-up to anyone who might be worried about their child's back - PLEASE DO see your GP about this, and if necessary ask for a referral for it to be checked out by an orthopaedic surgeon. I know of so many parents who wish they hadn't delayed in doing so.


Toni xxx

6th May 2005, 05:45 PM
Have just had a reply from someone saying that they had heard that the over-use of car-seats for newborns can cause back deformities, and asking if this is true. I'm going to look for info on this, but if any of you have heard of this/know if it's true, please do let me know!

6th May 2005, 06:37 PM
I don't know if it is true or not but you can not really get round putting your child in a car seat. Its far too dangerous not to put your child in a properly fitted car seat. I would think if you change the seat as and when your child grows out of the previous one then the risk would be minimal. I will keep my eye on this post. Thanks for that Toni

6th May 2005, 07:19 PM
Hmmm, it looks like the main problem with car seats is that if you leave a child in one longer than necessary (ie if you use it outside the car, as a carrycot/crib) then a baby's soft bones are at risk of growing out of shape. They are particularly at risk of developing positional skull deformities; this is called "Positional Plagiocephaly" and can develop when a baby continually rests its head in the same position as it sleeps.

6th May 2005, 07:30 PM

What a great thing you did ! I got all teary reading your post or it must be that time of month for me ? ( girls you know what I'm talking about :-D ) Car seats are unavoidable, HOWEVER it is often used as a sleeping cot and I think that's a real problem. Can we sue ?! I need some extra spending cash :bounce:


6th May 2005, 09:37 PM
Hi Toni,
Certainly before Niamh was born there was a lot if information going around about not leaving babies is car seats too long, a max of an hour at a time was the recommended time. Not a lot of help if you have to go an a long journey. The reason was that a lot more babies were presenting with plagiocephaly, which as Sins pointed out in another post can be associated with scoliosis.

There are little pillow things that you can get to prevent the baby lying to one side on a longer journey but personally they never worked for us as Niamh ended up slumped forward, which can't have been good for her neck muscles.

It is a good idea to post the information on other sites, did you actually give a link to this site also?
I have posted about this site on 2 other parent forums I sometimes look at.

7th May 2005, 10:22 PM
I once read a report Nicola where the author claimed that infantile scoliosis was more prevalent in Europe due to the cot death campaigning to put babies to sleep on their backs.In America, this campaign isn't as high profile and a baby is as likely to sleep on his front as his back,hence the lower incidence of scoliosis.The infant car seat definitely was responsible for Liam's mild plagiocephaly.I wasn't great at lifting kids so I would go shopping with him in the car seat,place the car seat in theshopping trolley and he'd be left in the car seat as I unpacked the groceries at home, especially if he was asleep.What really did the damage was when he got a bad cold, my doctor advised us to keep him upright in the car seat while asleep as he was only 8 weeks old.Shortly afterwards I noticed the front of his forhead was bulging and the opposing side was driven in at the back.Their little heads are so malleable and they can be moulded into the strangest of shapes.Happily over the next six months he recovered fully.

15th May 2005, 12:15 AM
We have a bit of a dillema at the moment with car seats. All the books and manufacturers tell you the child has to be a certain weight before you can put them in a forward facing car seat.

Erin is little and on the lowest centil (poor spelling) but she has had a big growth spurt but not put on the weight. So when ever i put her in the car seat in the car she looks all hunched up and uncomfortablebecause her feet are pushing against the back seat.(if that makes any sense)

Has anyone else been through this i'm just a bit concerned after reading all the above posts. You sometimes never know what to do for the best and with gene pool i don't want to encourage any deformation of her spine

Amazed Jean
15th May 2005, 03:09 AM
Mark, That's exactly where we are with grandson Aidan. He's long for his 15lb weight so not heavy enough to move to the bigger boy car seat but his little body looks scrunched up in the infant seat. His legs are squeezed against the seat back too. He is only 5 months old too so not really sitting up by himself so in the bigger seat he slides until the straps are hanging him up. We don't know what to do to keep him safe and comfortable.

15th May 2005, 04:45 AM
we were in the same predicament with Niamh, she has always been very light, so it got to the stage that her feet were scrunched up to the back of the seat in the rear ward facing seat but she was no where near the recommended 9kg for a forward facing seat. We are lucky enough to have a higly reputable baby equipment shop who specialise in fitting car seats correctly, they have no allegiance to any brand and are quite happy not to make a sale. When we went in they checked that Niamh could sit herself up from lying on her tummy, which was to check that her neck muscles were strong enough, and they found a car seat which had straps which could secure her correctly, and of course fitted in our car.
Do you have a shop near you where you could try out a number of seats until you find a good fit?

15th May 2005, 06:00 AM
We (and by "we", I mean my sister) ended up turning Cierra's carseat forward when she was about 10 months. The recommendation is 12 months or some pounds. She was underage and underweight, but it was time.

15th May 2005, 11:22 AM
We have a few of the larger chains of baby shops that ensure the seat fits the car properly. We are going to have go buy a new seat as we go on holiday at the beginning of june and its a 7 or 8 hour drive and there's no way she is going in the rear facing car seat.

Thanks for all the advice i thought we were the only ones in this dilema she was born small and her weight has always been right at the bottom of where she should be at. But with the sudden growth spirt its kind of taken us by suprise. Its our first baby as well so everythings one big massive learning curve.