Feature Quiz: Cerebral Palsy - Alt Text Version
Question 1: What are some symptoms of cerebral palsy?
Answer: The signs of cerebral palsy vary greatly because there are many different types and levels of disability. The main sign that a child might have cerebral palsy is a delay reaching motor or movement milestones (such as rolling over, sitting, standing, or walking).
Following are some other signs of possible cerebral palsy. It is important to note that some children without cerebral palsy also might have some of these signs.
- Baby doesn’t roll over in either direction
- Baby cannot bring her hands together
- Baby has difficulty bringing her hands to her mouth
- Baby reaches out with only one hand while keeping the other fisted
- Baby crawls in a lopsided manner, pushing off with one hand and leg while dragging the opposite hand and leg
- Baby scoots around on buttocks or hops on knees, but does not crawl on all fours
Question 2: Can a person with cerebral palsy walk?
In 2006, a little more than half of the children identified with cerebral palsy in a CDC study could walk independently.
Question 3: What causes cerebral palsy?
Answer: The majority of cerebral palsy is related to brain damage that happened before, during or immediately after birth (usually defined as the first 28 days of life and known as congenital cerebral palsy).
A small percentage of cerebral palsy occurs more than 28 days after birth. This is usually due to an infection (such as meningitis) or head injury.
In many cases, the specific cause of cerebral palsy isn’t known.
Question 4: Can you think of five or more ways to help prevent cerebral palsy after a child is born?
Answer: Some cases of cerebral palsy that are related to an infection or injury during childhood can be prevented:
- Treat jaundice early.
Severe jaundice that is not treated can cause brain damage, called kernicterus. Kernicterus is a cause of cerebral palsy that potentially can be prevented.
- Get your child vaccinated.
- Buckle your child in the car using an infant or child car seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child's height, weight, and age).
- Make living areas safer for children by using window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows and using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Make sure the surface on your child's playground is made of a shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.
- Carefully watch young children at all times around bathtubs, swimming or wading pools, and natural bodies of water.
- Never hit, throw, shake, or hurt a child.
Question 5: At what age is cerebral palsy usually diagnosed?
Answer: Cerebral palsy generally is diagnosed during the first or second year after birth. But if a child’s symptoms are mild, it is sometimes difficult to make a diagnosis until the child is a few years older.
Question 6: Is there a cure for cerebral palsy?
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatment can improve the lives of those who have the condition. It is important to begin a treatment program as early as possible.
Question 7: How many children in the United States have cerebral palsy?
Answer: Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood. CDC estimates that about 1 in every 303 children in the United States has cerebral palsy.
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