The Head

In examining the head and neck, tailor your examination to the child's stage of growth and development.

Even before touching the child, carefully observe the shape of the head, its symmetry, and the presence of abnormal facies. Next, measure the head circumference in children under 2 years (described on p. 657). At birth, a baby's head may seem relatively large to you. A newborn's head accounts for one fourth of the body length and one third of the body weight; these proportions change, so that by adulthood the head accounts for one eighth of the body length and about one tenth of the body weight.

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