A 31-year-old primipara reports to the nurse that she feels a soft spot on the head of her newly born baby. Which of the following responses would be appropriate?


• The anterior fontanel will be felt as a soft spot. It should not appear indented or bulging. The anterior fontanel normally closes between 12 and 18 months of age.

• The fontanels are the spaces or openings where the skull bones join. The anterior fontanel is located at the junction of the two parietal bones and the two fused frontal bones. It is diamond-shaped.

• The posterior fontanel is located at the junction of the parietal bones and the occipital bones. The posterior fontanel is so small in some newborns that it cannot be palpated readily. The posterior fontanel closes by the end of the second month.

• The part of the infant’s head that engages the cervix molds to fit the cervix contours.

• Incorrect: The choice referencing head trauma refers to a cephalhematoma. This occurs due to the rupture of blood vessels crossing the periosteum (outer membrane of a bone). This is often caused by prolonged second stage of labor. The swelling is generally severe and is well outlined as an egg shape. It may be black and blue because of the presence of coagulated blood.

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