The incidence and characteristics of torticollis, plagiocephaly and facial asymmetry were evaluated prospectively by photographic analysis in 102 healthy newborn infants in a study at University of California, San Diego. Asymmetries of craniofacial development affecting 73% of newborns included torticollis in 16%, asymmetrical mandible in 13%, facial asymmetry in 42%, and asymmetry of the head in 61%. Malposition of head and neck in utero for 6 weeks or more before delivery was associated with torticollis; larger babies, birth trauma and long labor with facial asymmetry; and birth trauma with plagiocephaly. Identification of affected newborns should prompt positioning recommendations to prevent secondary craniofacial deformities. 
COMMENT. Early detection of torticollis by neck range of motion assessment at birth may prompt physiotherapy and head positioning that will prevent posterior plagiocephaly.