Each year, cleft palate or craniofacial defects impact thousands of infants, children, and teens in the United States. While some are born with congenital anomalies such as cleft lip and palate, others are injured in accidents, burned, or diagnosed with a different head, neck, skin, and oral diseases.
July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month. Therefore, as a provider of pediatric home health in Houston, Texas, we would like to take this opportunity to discuss these conditions.
What Are Cleft and Craniofacial Conditions?
Craniofacial defects are conditions at birth that impact the function and structure of a newborn’s head and face. These can have a lasting effect on the infant’s life. There are different types of these conditions, namely craniosynostosis, orofacial clefts, anotia, and microtia.
What Places a Child at Risk?
Diabetes, thyroid disease, smoking, and clomiphene citrate may pose risk factors for craniofacial defects.
How Are Craniofacial Defects Treated?
Usually, a cleft lip can be fixed within the first year of an infant’s life. A cleft palate repair, on the other hand, must occur by the age of 18 months. However, as any provider of private duty nursing in Texas would tell you, the surgery for both conditions would depend on a doctor’s recommendation.
This recommendation would involve taking the baby’s health and future growth into consideration. Any follow-up appointments would occur between the age of two up until the child’s late teens.
If your child has recently obtained treatment, here are some post-operative care tips:
- Feed your infant using a syringe fitted with a special tubing.
- Visit your child’s doctor within 7 to 10 days post-surgery to see if adjustments are necessary with the feeding regimen.
- Refrain from touching their lip area. Let dry blood fall off by itself.
- Let them sleep on their back to keep them from touching the surgical area.
- Use liquid acetaminophen as prescribed to alleviate your child’s pain.
If your child has a cleft or craniofacial condition, allow AMENITY HEALTH SERVICES PLLC to help you take care of them. Please contact us for more information about our pediatric home health and speech therapy services.
We also offer pediatric behavioral health in Houston, Texas, in addition to our other services.