Among the newborn reflexes, the Babinski reflex can be found. In response to stimulus, primitive reflexes are automatically triggered. The baby’s central nervous system must be healthy to detect these reflexes. Babinski reflexes and other newborn reflexes may be checked by a doctor during birth and at subsequently scheduled checkups. In addition to testing the Babinski reflex at home, parents can also ask their children if they have it.
Read this post to learn how the Babinski reflex occurs, when it can be a sign of concern, and when it shouldn’t be implemented.
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The Babinski Reflex: What Is It?
Babinski’s reflex was first noticed by the French neurosurgeon Joseph Babinski in the late 19th century. Babinski’s sign or response is another name for it. Plantar reflexes are academically termed plantar reflexes.
Upon gently stroking the soles of a baby’s feet from heel to toe, this reflex will occur. When this happens, the big toe moves upward and the rest of the toes flare or flare out. During the first 24 months after birth, you experience the Babinski reflex.
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Babinski Reflex: Signs and Symptoms
If you are at home, you can check for the Babinski reflex by spreading your finger over the sole from the heel to toe while holding the newborn’s foot. While the rest of the toes flare out, the big toe rises. Use the tip of your finger instead of your fingernail to elicit the reflex. Do not use any sharp objects to elicit the reflex.
Babinski Reflexes: When do they vanish?
Most Babinski reflexes last between two and 24 months for babies. A baby’s reflex may disappear by the time he or she turns 12 months old.
How Can Babinski Reflex Be Tested?
The proper function of the nervous system needs to have the Babinski reflex present in newborns. When the Babinski reflex is healthy, it indicates that the cortex-spinal tract is functioning normally. The corticospinal tract connects the cortex and the spinal cord. In addition to controlling parts of the torso and lower limbs, this motor neuron pathway plays an important role in maintaining balance and coordination.
Infants lacking the Babinski reflex or with an abnormal sign may be suffering from difficulties with the corticospinal tract, suggesting possible central nervous system dysfunctions.
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Babinski Reflex – When Is It Abnormal?
It is considered abnormal when the Babinski reflex persists for more than two years. Most children and adults older than two years are considered to have a pathological reflex.
What causes abnormal Babinski reflexes?
Children over the age of two years show the Babinski sign due to a lack of corticospinal integration. Among older children and adults, the cortex and spinal cord are well integrated, and developed cells subdue reflexes. Thus, the Babinski sign indicates damaged nerve cells developing along the pathway.
When a child older than two years old has injuries to the corticospinal tract, a Babinski reflex may be abnormal.
- Meningitis and other infections of the central nervous system (CNS)
- Tumors of the brain or spinal cord
- CNS problems, including nervous system malfunctions
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Injury to the brain or spinal cord
There are rare cases in which babies will exhibit an abnormal Babinski reflex after suffering damage caused by stroke, including those caused by sickle cell disease or other genetic disorders.
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Concerns To Look Out For
Babinski reflex may occur after the age of two years, in which case you need to consult a pediatrician. The delay in reflex integration might be a normal development delay without other signs of developmental delay. There may be a few additional weeks of waiting that your doctor requests. Your doctor may recommend pertinent tests to diagnose the possible underlying cause of the reflex if it persists or the baby displays other signs of neurological dysfunction.
Baby Babinski’s reflexes are indicators of healthy nervous systems. Regular check-ups by doctors allow them to test the reflex, but parents can also do so at home. A doctor should be consulted if the reflex persists after two years of age or if it is abnormal. If a potential developmental delay is detected early, effective interventions could be put in place to prevent long-term consequences.