What are separated sutures?Separated suturesSuturesfontanel, where they meetSeek immediate medical attention
Nutritional deficienciesSome vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause a separation of sutures. Your infant can become malnourished if they do not receive the proper nutrients for keeping the connective tissues and bone plates healthy. Dehydration (a lack of fluid) can also cause sunken fontanels that resemble suture separation.
TraumaTrauma, such as non-accidental child abuse, can cause separation of the sutures as well as a bulging soft spot. A blow to the head can cause internal bleeding in the brain or a collection of blood on the brain’s surface, known as a subdural hematoma. Head trauma in an infant is an emergency and requires immediate medical assistance.
Diseases and conditionsDiseases and conditions that cause increased pressure in the skull may raise an infant’s risk of suture separation. Some conditions and diseases linked to increased intracranial pressure include:
- brain tumors
- infections present at birth
- Down syndrome
- Dandy-Walker malformation
Home health optionsSoft spots may bulge when your infant is throwing up, lying on their back, or crying. The soft spot should return to a normal position — a slight inward curve — once your child becomes calm, sits upright, or stops vomiting. Seek medical assistance if the soft spot continues to protrude. Keep a detailed record of your child’s developmental milestones and medical history. This can help medical professionals understand your child’s condition and symptoms. This will be important if the underlying cause is determined to be chronic.
- Stay up to date on your child’s vaccines, including those that protect against certain strands of meningitis.
- Avoid exposing your child to people who have, or have recently had, meningitis.
- Protect your child from an accidental trauma to the head by placing bumper pads in the crib, properly installing car seats, and eliminating unstable objects from the child’s environment.
- Provide your child with the proper daily intake of nutrients and fluids as recommended by your doctor.
- Seek immediate medical care for unusual symptoms your child is experiencing.