Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is caused by damage to the brain that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth. The risk factors for cerebral palsy include:
- Premature birth: Infants born prematurely (before 37 weeks of gestation) are at a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy.
- Low birth weight: Infants with a birth weight less than 5.5 pounds are at a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy.
- Multiple births: Twins, triplets, or other multiple births are at a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy.
- Infections during pregnancy: Infections such as rubella, cytomegalovirus, and toxoplasmosis during pregnancy can increase the risk of cerebral palsy.
- Lack of oxygen during birth: Lack of oxygen during birth can cause brain damage, leading to cerebral palsy.
- Jaundice: Severe jaundice in newborns can cause brain damage and increase the risk of cerebral palsy.
- Traumatic head injury: Traumatic head injury in infants or young children can cause brain damage and increase the risk of cerebral palsy.
It’s important to note that not all children with these risk factors will develop cerebral palsy, and some children without any risk factors may develop it. Each case is unique, and early diagnosis and intervention are important in managing the condition.