Hydrocephalus

Also called water on the brain this is a rare condition. It is more common in pre-term babies.

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bathes the brain and spinal cord, protecting them from injury. If there is a blockage in the flow of CSF, or over-production of fluid, excess CSF builds up in the cavities of the brain. The head swells as the skull bones are still not fused, and the fontanelles (the soft spots where certain bones meet) become wide and bulging.

If hydrocephalus is suspected, frequent ultrasound checks will be made and your baby’s head circumference measured every two to three days. If a child is born with hydrocephalus, a shunt may be inserted to drain the fluid. Mental development is usually affected, but some children with advanced hydrocephalus have normal intelligence.

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