After a difficult birth, it is tempting to believe that everything is OK. Unfortunately, some of the most serious birth injuries are not always apparent immediately after birth. A child with cerebral palsy (CP) may show no signs of disability during early infancy. It is not until the child grows and the nervous system and brain fail to develop normally that symptoms of CP appear.
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of physical disabilities that affect the way the body moves. CP is caused by an injury to the developing brain that occurs before, during, or immediately after birth. Some risk factors for cerebral palsy are lack of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia), premature delivery, and birth trauma.
Infants spend a lot of time sleeping and eating. Many infants with CP appear normal in early infancy. However, as the brain grown, these children suffer seizures and delays in development. Over time, the disability becomes obvious.
Early signs of cerebral palsy in infants:
- Rigid, stiff muscles or floppy, limp muscles
- Painful, involuntary muscle spasms
- Uncoordinated or jerking movement
- Slow, writhing, uncontrolled movement
- Lack of coordination
- Lack of normal reflexes, such as the grasping reflex (child grasps when palm is stroked)
- Retaining infantile reflexes (grasping reflex lasts beyond six months)
- Obvious and early left- or right-handedness at 6-18 months of age
- Asymmetrical posture
- Difficulty balancing
- Walking on toes, or walking with a stiff or unbalanced gait
- Strabismus (one eye turning inward or outward)
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty with feeding or swallowing, choking, or gagging
- Tongue thrusting
- Delays in speaking
- Speech impairments
- Delays in reaching milestones, including rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, balancing, and walking
- Lack of fine motor skills, for example child cannot pick up a Cheerio at nine months
If your child experiences seizures, has multiple delays in development, or shows other signs of cerebral palsy, make an appointment to discuss the possibility of CP with your pediatrician.
Although there are many possible causes of cerebral palsy, CP is often caused by birth injuries. If you had a difficult birth or delivery and your child has been diagnosed with CP, your child may be eligible for financial compensation through a Texas birth injury lawsuit. To discuss compensation options for your child’s CP, contact a Dallas birth injury lawyer who specializes in CP. The cerebral palsy injury attorney will investigate your child’s medical records and determine if medical negligence contributed to your child’s disability. To learn more, contact the Dallas birth injury attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313, or request a free copy of our book, Cerebral Palsy and Medical Negligence.