Even though the quality of healthcare for expectant mothers has improved by leaps and bounds, unfortunately, the incidence of cerebral palsy (CP) has not decreased. The CDC estimates that as many as 4 children per one thousand live births have cerebral palsy. It remains the most common motor disability disorder of childhood.
Birth injury, for example, oxygen deprivation during or shortly after birth, is one of the major causes of cerebral palsy. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition as a result of medical negligence or you suspect proper medical care was not given, you should consult a birth trauma attorney.
Here are 4 things parents of children with cerebral palsy from birth injury should know:
Keep a close eye on development:
It’s important to keep track of your baby’s progress. Infants typically lift their head, learn to crawl, and start walking at a particular age. These developmental milestones are good indicators of how severely a birth injury has affected a child. All responsible parents keep an eye on their child’s development, of course, but children who are diagnosed or suspected to have cerebral palsy have to be watched even more closely. If you suspect something is amiss with your child’s development, it’s never too early to consult a birth trauma attorney.
Collect evidence for a potential lawsuit:
Following childbirth, each baby is assigned an APGAR score, a measure of the infant’s overall appearance, grimacing, activity, respiration, and pulse. This score is almost certainly reviewed in court during a medical malpractice lawsuit. In addition to this, you should keep any other medical records and scientific evidence related to your child’s birth. Children who are victims of birth trauma can develop CP and/or developmental cognitive delays. These children often spend extended time after birth in the neonatal intensive care unit (N.I.C.U.)
Don’t ignore mild cerebral palsy:
Cerebral palsy affects the entire family and can have a devastating impact on your family’s life. The condition can range from mild to severe. Some children may live near normal lives while others may be confined to a wheelchair. But even with mild forms of the disease, a child with cerebral palsy may be forced to watch from the sidelines as peers go on to achieve sporting glory. For instance, children with CP are often either unable to participate or safely take part in gym and physical activity. Don’t ignore mild forms of the condition as it can still have a profound impact on your child’s life. Your child’s cerebral palsy does not have to be severe for you to be eligible for compensation.
Act before it’s too late:
If you have a child with cerebral palsy, you will need a determined attitude and a lot of fortitude for the many ups and downs that life will throw at you. Cerebral palsy is associated with many challenges. It places a big financial burden on the family. There are the physical pain and distress and a lifetime of physical therapy sessions to content with. Surgeries and rehabilitation become second nature to many CP families. Your child will have to overcome their disability and learn to fit in socially, find a job, meet a partner, and live independently. The obstacles that children with cerebral palsy face maybe difficult to appreciate or understand, but being informed is a good first step in tackling the disease.
Image via Flickr by Ethan