06 Oct 2022
Although Cerebral Palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood, there is a broad lack of knowledge of what it is and how it’s caused, even in medical circles.
The organisers of World Cerebral Palsy Day aim to build awareness of what cerebral palsy is, how it’s caused and how early detection and intervention is the key to improving outcomes for people with cerebral palsy. Their vision is to ensure that children and adults with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in society.
Cerebral palsy is an injury to the brain, causing problems with movement that you see in early childhood. Children with CP often have poor co-ordination, weak muscles and tremors. They can also have problems with sensation, vision, hearing, swallowing and talking.
CP is caused by damage or abnormal development in the parts of the brain that control movement. These can happen before, during or shortly after birth or in the first few years of life, when the brain is still developing.
One of the main causes of cerebral palsy is a hypoxic brain injury during childbirth, where the baby’s brain gets starved of oxygen. Sometimes this cannot be prevented or it is impossible to work out what has caused the baby to be injured, but it is often the result of one of the following things happening during childbirth:
The majority of children with cerebral palsy are born with the condition but a small number have what is called acquitted cerebral palsy, which means that the disorder begins more than 28 days after birth, often from infections such as meningitis or encephalitis, problems with blood flow to the brain, such as a stroke, or a head injury from a car accident, fall or child abuse.
The signs of cerebral palsy usually appear within the first few months of a child’s life but many children are not diagnosed until age 2 or later. The signs to look out for tend to be:
1 – There are 17 million people across the world living with cerebral palsy.
2 – Cerebral palsy is a permanent disability that affects movement. Its impact can range from a weakness in one hand to almost a complete lack of voluntary movement.
3 – Cerebral palsy is a complex disability. 1 in 4 children with CP cannot talk, 1 in 4 cannot walk, 1 in 2 have an intellectual disability and 1 in 4 have epilepsy.
4 – CP is a lifelong disability and there is no known cure
Our clinical negligence solicitors at Harding Evans understand the challenges involved in raising a child with cerebral palsy. As well as the obvious emotional impact, a significant amount of essential equipment, assistance with care, education and home adaptations will also be required but all this can help your child to lead a fulfilling life.
We have a wealth of experience in securing settlements for families of children who develop cerebral palsy as a result of injuries sustained during childbirth. If you would like to discuss a claim, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01633 244233.
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