Toddler Soft Spots on Back of Head
About a year and a half ago, I typed those words into Google search and came back with nothing helpful. My oldest daughter was 4 when I noticed that she had two distinct soft spots at the back of her heard.
This is my story about this concern, as it unfolds. I am by no means a doctor or an expert, I’m just a mom who recognizes other parents may want to hear of someone else’s experience should they have the same issue. Obviously every child and situation is different, please don’t use this blog post to prolong going to your doctor! *Ok common sense disclaimer done! On with the story….
Searching the internet I learned that those back soft spots typically close on babies by 4 months of age and the top spot closes by 18months. I found a few articles that said there can be a longer delay in closure, but they were referring to the top soft spot, not the back. True to those timelines, my second daughter, age 2 at the time, had a solid closed skull all around.
I should note that there were no other reasons for concern. My daughter was developing normally for her age with no delays in any areas. No headaches, vomiting, irritability, pain, sleepiness, etc.
Pediatrician Appointment: The doctor confirmed that the spots existed and should have been closed by now. The office had not seen this before and could not find anything about them when they searched. They ordered a blood workup to check for vitamin deficiencies and referred us to a nearby children’s neurosurgeon department for further information.
Blood work results: As a family we eat very little meat, dairy, or eggs. Our way of eating focuses on whole, plant-based foods and of those we try to source locally and fresh. Sometimes organic but sometimes not. I give them liquid D3 and B12. Like other children my kids can be picky eaters at times but like other parents we do our best. So despite the her pediatrician’s original thought that this may be the result of a deficiency, the blood work came back with flying colors. The only deficiency shown was with Ferritin (iron stores) levels being very low. This didn’t surprise me as I was anemic with every pregnancy and take iron supplements still myself. She now takes daily liquid iron supplements.
Neurosurgeon Appointment: Biparietal Foramina. The official name for posterior soft spots. The doctor had seen them before, and noted that while not common, the doctor thought they may actually be more common than reported/people realize. With no additional negative symptoms like vomiting, irritability, headaches, sleepiness, etc and no delays in physical or mental development there was nothing needed to be done other than “common sense carefulness”. At the time of the appointment I had my third child with me, age 6months, and the doctor confirmed that his posterior soft spots were closed. The end conclusion was to follow up in one year.
End of 2018
Daughter in question now 6, second daughter is 4, and last son is 20months. Soft spots remain very obvious at touch with 6yr old and while I fear they are larger, hubby says they are the same. At 19months I noticed my son has a small soft spot beginning in the same spot on the back right side as his big sister. At 4 1/2yrs old I notice the middle child ALSO now has a soft spot in the same back right about the size of the 20month old’s spot.
Blood work results: Again all fine with the exception of Ferritin levels which had risen but not yet at optimal levels. Middle child did blood work also with same results (higher ferritin than her big sister but still lower than optimal).
Neurosurgeon Appointment: Brought all 3 kids. Soft spots confirmed on all of them, but doctor remains unafraid as long as no one is showing negative signs mentioned above and is developing normally in all ways. Spots on my oldest were remeasured and confirmed to be about the same size as last year (so hubby was right!). We did decide to schedule a CT scan 3 months out, just to be certain that there is no reason for concern. Until then the doctor advised common sense carefulness, to call if any negative signs began, and said at this time it is unnecessary to have an appointment for each child, that we would just monitor the oldest since hers are the most pronounced. I did ask if the spots would close up and the doctor said they may or may not. Surgery to put in some sort of plates could be a future option, but the doctor did not advise that over just common sense carefulness and watchful follow up visits.
CT scan will be end of March 2019, I’ll share an update after that.
It’s worth noting that while this issue worries and scares me (who has general anxiety on a daily basis anyway), my husband is as calm and optimistic as the doctor that it’s all going to be fine (whether the soft spots close or not).
Now if you type “Biparietal Foramina” into your search bar, you’ll see you get lots of scientific results about this and can search yourself for more explanations. Sometimes it’s just all about knowing the right search phrase!
Hi there! I’m Kaley, prevailing parent and wife, but also just me; stubborn lover of DIY everything, outdoors, and chocolate. Read more about myself and my family under the “Parenting” > “About My Family” tabs.