Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition sometimes caused by damage to the brain. It is a group of disorders most commonly associated with movement disabilities in childhood. According to Mayo Clinic, CP occurs after injury to an immature, developing brain.
If you suspect CP, your children may exhibit symptoms as infants or toddlers.
Signs of cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy may cause impaired movement, floppiness and spasticity of the limbs. The signs of cerebral palsy may vary from person to person. Children may exhibit stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes. You may notice their muscle tone appears too stiff or floppy.
Babies learning to crawl may favor one side of their body and reach with one hand and drag their leg when crawling. When walking, they may use their toes or their knees may cross.
Some children have difficulty sucking, eating or chewing and cannot swallow properly. They may have speech delays or difficulty forming words. If your child has delays in typical milestones, it may indicate CP. Children may take longer to sit up or crawl. They may also be smaller than most babies their age.
Complications of cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy may cause various neurological problems. Some children may have epilepsy or have difficulty with their vision. Other complications include:
- Hearing problems
- Abnormal pain sensations
- Bladder and bowel issues
- Unusual eye movements
Fortunately, with cerebral palsy, the symptoms do not generally worsen with time. Children do not become worse with age. However, as a child develops and grows, you may notice more symptoms.
Cerebral palsy may occur due to lack of oxygen during childbirth and traumatic head injuries.