Q&A: My child has a small raised ridge on his skull. Is this normal development?
My 14-month-old son has a small raised ridge on his skull that runs from front to back beginning just above his eyebrows and goes to about the center part of his head. Is this normal development of the skull?
The skull isn’t one large bone: it is made up of 5 smaller bones that eventually fuse together to form the adult skull. This fusion occurs at suture lines and is usually almost complete by a child’s second birthday. Mother nature designed this intentionally since in order to successfully squeeze through a birth canal, the separate bones often have to override each other to make the diameter of the head temporarily smaller. When these bones override, a ridge can be felt at the area of overlap. The location you describe is the metopic suture, where the frontal bones should come together. The overriding that occurs for the purpose of birth is usually well gone by 14 months of age, as the growth of the brain forces the skull to expand. What you are feeling may represent an unusual closure pattern, called craniosynostosis, where bones fuse prematurely and asymmetrically. This is more likely if the overall shape of your son’s head isn’t symmetric. A quick trip to your pediatrician (or family doctor) and perhaps an x-ray can rule this out.