Whether your first or your fifteenth, the birth of a child is an exciting time for parents and families in Ohio and elsewhere. This excitement may soon turn to concern, however, if your child displays signs of serious medical conditions such as cerebral palsy. In some cases, the development of this disorder may be the result of negligence, mistakes or other unsafe practices on the part of your health care provider.

Cerebral palsy is the term applied to a class of brain disorders affecting body movement and muscles. The most common childhood movement disorder, the symptoms associated with this condition typically present during infancy or early childhood. While the signs of cerebral palsy may not worsen over time, they often last throughout people’s lives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy develops as a result of abnormal brain development or brain damage during development to the areas that affect children’s ability to control their muscles. Your child may suffer such damage during pregnancy or labor and delivery, as well as within the first few years of his or her life.

Although having them does not guarantee that cerebral palsy will develop, certain risk factors may increase the chances of your child having cerebral palsy. These risk factors include the following:

  • Maternal medical conditions or infections during pregnancy
  • Placenta detachment
  • Preterm births or low birth weights
  • Umbilical cord problems
  • Uterine rupture

Left untreated, jaundice, or a buildup of too much bilirubin in a new baby’s body, may advance into a condition called kernicterus. Kernicterus may also factor in the development of cerebral palsy.

The above information is not meant as legal advice and instead should only be considered for general purposes.