Dr Ira Shah
What is meant by floppy infant?
Consultant Pediatrician, Nanavati Hospital and B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai
Editor - Pediatric Oncall
Floppy infant is a term used to denote a child less than 1 year of age who has a poor muscle tone. As a result, the infant appears limp and can have a large amount of movement across the joints. The infant’s body tone is similar to a rag doll.
What are the symptoms of floppy infant?
Apart from floppiness, the infant has difficulty in sucking and due to poor muscle tone has delay in achieving the milestones such as sitting, standing and walking.
What are the causes of floppy infant?
There are several diseases that can cause floppy infant. When brain is involved, there may be associated seizures, mental retardation. Patients with hypotonic cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, Prader-Willi syndrome, organic acidemias, birth trauma, birth asphyxia may present with floppiness. When brain is not involved and floppiness is due to involvement of the nerves and muscles, then common causes are spinal muscular atrophy (SMA); neuropathy, congenital myasthenia, infantile botulism, muscular dystrophy, congenital myopathy or metabolic myopathies. Rare causes of floppy infants are Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, Osteogenesis Imperfecta and kidney disease.
What is the treatment of a floppy infant?
Treatment would depend on the cause. However physiotherapy may help to improve the muscle tone.
Do children with floppiness recover?
Again, that depends on the cause that leading to floppiness.
Last Updated On 1st November 2011