Cerebral palsy causes the affected individual to have diminished or, in severe cases, no control over their muscles. This injury occurs at birth, and the condition lasts for the entierety of the individual’s life. Brain injuries never heal. The symptoms of this brain injury may worsen over time, resulting in a need for increased levels of medical care. Though it’s sometimes not spotted right away, there are indications that the child may be suffering from CP.
Symptoms of Hypoxia
The brain injury that causes cerebral palsy is, medically speaking, caused by hypoxia, which is inadequate oxygen in the blood. This is one of the first signs that the injury may be present. When the child is delivered, they may have very bluish skin, a symptom called cyanosis. The child may also be pinned in a position where strangulation is a risk or be known to have the umbilical cord wrapped around their neck. A lack of amniotic fluid may also end up causing this condition. When the brain is deprived of oxygen for too long, the child’s brain may then suffer this irreversible injury.
The Injury Itself
At birth, the injury that causes cerebral palsy is usually noticed because of a lack of muscle tone. The child may be very stiff or completely limp, but there will be something wrong about how they’re moving and the way their body feels. In many cases, this is why the doctor will order further testing to see if there is damage to the brain. Cerebral palsy in infants is oftentimes detected much earlier than it was in the past because of improved scanning technology that allows doctors to get a look at the brain directly.
Further Down the Road
There are few cases where cerebral palsy won’t be noticed for a long time. In some cases, the child has developed normally but may have difficulty walking or with more intricate movements. Some children with cerebral palsy grow up to live very normal lives, and their mental capacity is intact as are their motor functions. Other children, however, are completely dependent upon others to render care and will have to pay the costs of round-the-clock medical treatment for their entire lives. The severity of the condition varies case by case. If you suspect your child may have CP, contact your healthcare physician to learn more about the condition, its symptoms, and various ways in which you can better care for your child.