Risk Factors that Increase Risks of Cerebral Palsy

In many parts of the world, medical practitioners refer to cerebral palsy as a major development disability. The condition is affecting how children develop their motor skills particularly. In the United States alone, experts are being alarmed that there are more cases of cerebral palsy today. It is becoming more common compared to other development disabilities like epilepsy, autism, and Down syndrome. It is estimated that about two babies out of a thousand babies born could be diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Although most children diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy could occasionally recover when they reach their school years, the condition is still a lifelong unlikely disability. Movements and other related problems could affect patients at differing degrees every activity and skill a child should learn and do all his life.

If cerebral palsy is not a disease, how is it developed? Experts assert that a child could be born with it. There are certain risk factors that make it more possible for specific children to incur the condition. Be reminded that risk factors are not causes. Instead, they are variables that bolster chances of something to occur. Risk factors in cerebral palsy should not be pointed out as specific causes of the condition, but instead should be taken as factors that increase a child’s chance of having cerebral palsy.

Presence of risk factors might not instantly mean the condition would occur, though. In the same way, absence of risk factors also does not mean the condition would not likely to occur. Parents should be aware of such risk factors. They should be alert when observing the factors and they should immediately seek professional assistance to prevent serious complications. Such factors could also be associated with parents as well as with children. Here are some of those rick factors.

Premature birth could pose dangerous and unlikely threats. Normally, pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Babies who are born before the 37th week could be at higher risks of developing cerebral palsy. Likewise, the earlier an infant is born, the higher is the possibility that he would get the condition.

Several studies have related low birth weight with cerebral palsy. Infants who are weighing 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) or less are more likely to be diagnosed with this condition. Like in premature birth, the more the baby’s weight falls, the greater is the possibility that he would develop cerebral palsy.

In many cases, a first child or a baby born to a couple for the fifth or later time could be found to have cerebral palsy. In specific cases, one in a pair of twins could also have the condition, specifically if the other twin dies. Science and experts are still finding it hard to explain why breech births are often associated with the condition. It has been observed that many infants who were born in the feet-first position or breech presentation are more likely to be diagnosed later with the problem.

The mother’s health is the most common risk factor. In many instances, babies with cerebral palsy are born to women who have mental retardation, seizures, or thyroid problems. There are also observations that moms giving birth at 40 years or older or those at 20 years of younger could have babies with cerebral palsy.