One of the most common conditions birth injury lawyers see on a regular basis is the cerebral palsy diagnosis. Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in children and, unfortunately, approximately 20% of new-born babies are diagnosed with congenital cerebral palsy due to a brain injury during the birthing process.
It is in these situations when having a lawyer to protect you and your child’s rights becomes vitally important. One potential problem that routinely pops up in these sort of circumstances is determining whether or not a child developed cerebral palsy naturally or as the result of medical malpractice/negligence. Early detection and diagnosis can go a long way in supporting a family’s verdict in the legal process, which is why knowing the signs of cerebral palsy at birth is incredibly important for prospective parents.
Here are seven of the most common signs of cerebral palsy at birth, according to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
- Low Muscle Tone: Of course, no baby is going to come out of the womb looking like they’re jacked up on supplements, but if a child is exceptionally “floppy” feeling when picked that could be a sign of cerebral palsy.
- Head Strength: Another cerebral palsy symptom that’s normal for babies regardless is a lack of head strength. Everyone knows supporting the head is important when holding babies, but a child being unable to hold up their head at all when lying on their stomach or in a seated position are signs of cerebral palsy at birth.
- Poor Reflexes and Muscle Control: Again, hard to distinguish from normal baby struggles, but something to keep note of.
- Muscle Spasms: Muscle spasms and stiff muscles are both signs of cerebral palsy at birth and can also signal spastic CP, which affects about 80% of those that have the condition.
- Delayed Development: If a child can’t do things like sit up or roll over on their own by about six months of age, there’s a good chance they could be struggling with CP.
- Difficulties Eating and Drinking: Difficulties in the feeding and swallowing processes are common cerebral palsy symptoms.
- Preference to One Side: Finally, another red flag of cerebral palsy is if you notice your child consistently prefers one side of their body over the other.
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that will make life more difficult for a child and if the condition came about as a result of errors or negligence during the birthing process, they deserve the benefits the legal system can offer them. Early identification is key to successful litigation, so keep these signs of cerebral palsy at birth in mind.