If you are like most parents in Idaho, the birth of your child is one of the happiest days of your life. However, conditions, like cerebral palsy, can occur during birth and bring with them a host of challenges. If you know or suspect that your child has cerebral palsy, here’s what you need to know.
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a birth injury that occurs when the baby’s brain is damaged during pregnancy, childbirth or shortly after birth. This damage can cause a variety of problems, including problems with movement, muscle control and muscle coordination. Cerebral palsy can also affect a child’s ability to speak, swallow and see.
What causes cerebral palsy?
In most cases, the cause of CP is unknown. However, there are some known risk factors that can increase the chance of a baby developing CP. These include premature birth, low birth weight, maternal infection during pregnancy, problems with the placenta or umbilical cord and head injuries sustained during birth.
How about medical malpractice?
While CP is most often caused by factors that are out of a doctor or hospital’s control, there are some instances in which medical negligence can play a role. For example, if a doctor fails to properly monitor a pregnant woman or her unborn child, this could lead to the baby sustaining birth injuries.
Can a child live normally with cerebral palsy?
Most children with CP can live normal, healthy lives. However, the severity of CP can range from mild to severe, and some children may require lifelong care. The good news is that there are many ways to manage CP, and with early intervention and treatment, most children with CP can reach their full potential.
For instance, there are a variety of therapies, like physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, that can help children with CP improve their skills and function. There are also many assistive devices, like wheelchairs and walkers, that can help children with CP move around more easily.
If you think your child may have cerebral palsy, a doctor can assess your child and provide a diagnosis. If your child is diagnosed with CP, there are many resources available to help you and your family.