As the child’s spine matures, cartilage becomes ossified, leading to a more adult appearance. Before this, the cartilaginous spaces are larger in the child than in the adult.

The space between adjacent vertebrae is larger.

The space between C1 and C2 anteriorly may be as much as 5 mm.

Image: X-ray of a 7-year-old.

Click on the x-ray to enlarge.