Cerebral Palsy – Getting Educated

November 7, 2012

Medicine

Cerebral Palsy - Getting Educated

Cerebral Palsy – Getting Educated

It is to everyone’s benefit to become familiar with and understand certain medical conditions because odds are an individual is going to encounter someone in his lifetime with a particular disorder that is clearly visible and affects his appearance and ability to move.

What is cerebral palsy?

Some individuals are afflicted with cerebral palsy (CP) which is a condition that influences muscle tone, movement and the ability to move in a coordinated way (motor skills.) What is cerebral palsy?

CP is generally the outcome of brain damage sustained before a child is born or acquired during the first three- to five years of the child’s life. A head injury or severe brain infection early in life can result in CP.

Cerebral palsy is not curable but therapy, various treatments, sometimes surgery and the use of special equipment is helpful to those who have this disorder.

There are three kinds of CP, including ataxic, which means the individual experiences an unstable sense of depth perception and balance; spastic CP, which results in stiffness and difficulty moving, and athetoid CP, which leads to unrestrained and uncontrolled body movements.

The person with CP may have trouble eating, controlling his bowels and bladder, breathing and learning.

The precise cause of CP is not known. Things can go wrong during a pregnancy. The mother may have an infection which damages the fetus’s brain, or it can be a genetic disorder. CP can crop up when there is trouble during labor and delivery, but this is generally the exception and not the rule.

Babies born too early are at high risk of developing CP as are a multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.) and those infants with low birth weight.

A healthy child can acquire CP if he is malnourished, is the victim of shaken baby syndrome, ingests lead and suffers from lead poisoning or is in a vehicular accident and wasn’t adequately restrained, all of which can lead to brain damage.

Precautions

Women who are considering pregnancy can take precautions that lessen the chance their child is born with CP, including taking prenatal vitamins, regularly seeing a doctor during pregnancy and not drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

If a woman has diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), suffers from seizures or is anemic (low iron) getting these problems under control before becoming pregnant is imperative. Eating a healthy diet while pregnant prevents nutritional deficiencies, which can lead to premature birth and CP.

Once the child is born, make sure he has his immunizations, the purpose of which is to prevent infections that can lead to brain damage, resulting in CP.

Never, ever shake a baby. This causes brain damage. Always properly strap an infant into a car seat. The car seat must be installed correctly to do its job. Read the instruction manual.

Educate yourself and your children about various medical conditions so there is an understanding that not everyone looks or moves or acts alike. When a child encounters another child or adult with a medical disorder, such as cerebral palsy, he will know, thanks to being educated by his parents, this is not something to be afraid of and certainly not something to make fun of.

Cerebral Palsy – Getting Educated


This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!
Cerebral Palsy

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