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Cerebral palsy and its risk factors

Many children in Texas suffer from neurological disorders that go under the name of cerebral palsy. There is no single cause of CP, but babies who meet certain criteria will run a higher risk for it. One criterion is low birth weight: i.e., less than 5.5 pounds at birth. Another is premature birth: i.e., before 37 weeks, and especially before 32 weeks. CP can also develop in multiple births where one of the multiples during or shortly after childbirth.

CP is not preventable, but if mothers remain in good health, seek medical attention as soon as problems arise and begin regular prenatal care early on in their pregnancy, they will reduce the risk for it. Babies who are not vaccinated are at a greater risk for CP, and the same holds for mothers. They should consider getting vaccinated for chickenpox, rubella, influenza and other diseases.

After birth, the child should not only be vaccinated but also monitored for jaundice, a condition often linked with CP. Preventing the child from incurring serious brain injuries, such as by using age-appropriate car seats and supervising the child around the pool, is an indirect way of reducing the risk for CP. During birth, children sometimes develop CP as a result of birth asphyxia, but parents should take note that treatments exist for this.

Some birth injuries can be the result of medical negligence. For example, doctors may fail to do anything about infections that subsequently lead to a child developing CP. Whatever the situation may be, the parents of an injured baby have the right to seek restitution, but they may want a lawyer to assist them. An attorney could even litigate as a last resort. Texas holds to a two-year statute of limitations for malpractice claims.

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