Objective: Assessment of the course of signs of asymmetry in toddlers who had a preferential posture as infants.
Method: Children who at the age of 1-6 months showed a preferential posture (n = 623) and at the age of 7-14 months displayed asymmetry of the shape and/or the rotation of the head (n = 259 of 468 children examined; 55%), were invited in 1997/'98 at the age of 2-3 years by 71 physicians of Infant Health Care Centres in the Netherlands. These physicians examined 129 children for asymmetry of the rotation and shape of the head. The parents of children with asymmetry were questioned about their reaction to the condition.
Results: Of the 129 children examined, 53% still had signs of asymmetry: active rotation was restricted in 6%, passive rotation in 2%, 45% had an asymmetric flattening of the occiput and 21% of the forehead. Of the 68 parents, 4 (6%) regarded the asymmetry of their child's head as a problem.
Conclusion: Asymmetry in infants runs a favourable course with respect to rotation and shape of the head; the condition had disappeared in three-quarters of the toddlers who had shown a preferential posture as infants. Flattening of the occiput is the most persistent sign. Parents infrequently experience the asymmetry at the age of 2 to 3 years as a problem.