Caida De La Mollera

Caida de la mollera means "fallen fontanel". The actual etiology may be any severe illness resulting in a 10% loss of body weight in an infant such as bacterial or viral dysentery, meningitis, or sepsis. Children with caida are commonly felt to be neglected and there is an high degree of maternal guilt (which may not be recognized by the health care professionals). The etiology is felt to be mechanical in origin--the fontanel being pulled down by the soft palate when the nipple is pulled too suddenly out of the infant's mouth or by a sudden jolt, bump or fall. Symptoms are dehydration, crying, inability to achieve sufficient suction while nursing, fever and diarrhea. Remedies include: pressing upward on the soft palate with thumbs or fingers, sucking the anterior fontanel, holding the baby upside down over water with or without shaking or hitting the feet. Poultices are applied to the fontanel with raw egg, oil, or liniment and the hair is pulled up (so that the roots will raise the skin back up). This is the most challenging and potentially fatal pediatric folk illness.