What to Expect from the 1 Month to 1 Year Old Physical Exam
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Join a discussion about growth and development by Dr. Hands, who presents all that any parent would like to know about any health concern during the first few years of child's life. This video shows what happens in a physical exam for a 1 month to 1 year


What to Expect from the 1 Month to 1 Year Old Physical Exam We also should mention certain things about the one month old to the one year old physical that are very important. Probably at no time, our head circumference and head shape as important at this time period because this is the main period of head growth and head shape affects. Everyone knows that the head is shaped and molded at delivering. And also is affected by its position when lying down sleeping and since the baby is mostly in a recumbent position much of its first six months, there is often molding of the head flattening of one side. So it is important for the pediatrician to pick up on that, encourage rotation of the baby, so that the head circumference remains more symmetrical. Also, there are abnormal head shapes which give clues to sutures or connections of bones in the skull that maybe fusing too quickly that the doctor must be on top of gearing that time. And of course head circumference as was probably well known, if the head is too small, it’s called microcephaly and it’s associated with neurologic problems. And if it’s too big, its macrocephaly and often associated with hydrocephalus which is another term for water in the brain which is a serious medical problem that has to be dealt with neurosurgically. The other interesting thing about infants and their development is at first we look for a baby that have a certain reflexes, grasp reflexes for instance. But now in the first year of life, we actually watch the baby loose reflexes. And we want them to loose primitive reflexes. The grasp reflex, the first thing the baby does is open its hand a little bit. Then its thumb comes out. This is called cortical thumbs with the thumb in. This is normal for a newborn, but abnormal at four and five months of age. So we are looking for the lost of primitive reflexes and the maturity of the nervous system as the child goes through this time period. Also, we are very interested in all the gross motor acquisitions, sitting, loco motion. We are interested in pre hands all function both first as a raking motion and then later on as pinch or grasp pipe function. So it is a very fascinating period of time that your doctor will take through with your baby. It’s a time of lost primitive reflexes that are important. And the gaining of mature neurologic system function.