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Health Law

: Cerebral Palsy Law Blog

Cerebral Palsy Risk Factors

By David Austin


 Cerebral palsy is a disability that a person is typically born with or can develop in the early years of life. There are several risk factors associated with cerebral palsy. In order to understand the risk factors linked to cerebral palsy it's important to understand the difference between a risk factor and cause of cerebral palsy 

A risk factor is a variable which, when present, can increase the chances that something will happen. A risk factor for cerebral palsy is not the cause of cerebral palsy. It is simply a variable that can increase your child's chances of developing this life altering disability. If a risk factor for cerebral palsy is present in a child, the parents and health care professionals caring for the child should be on close watch of how the infant develops.
Cerebral palsy risk factors can be associated with both the parents and the child. Some risk factors linked to the parents that can raise the risk of cerebral palsy developing are:

  • If the mother is 40 years or older
  • If the mother is 20 years or younger
  • If the father is 20 years or younger
  • If the child is of African-American ethnicity 

    Some cerebral palsy risk factors related to the child that can increase the risk of the disability are: 
  • If it is the first child or a child born fifth or later in the family
  • If the child is one of a pair of twins, particularly if one of the twins dies in childbirth
  • If the child is at a low birth weight (less than 3.5 pounds)
  • If the child is premature (less than 37 weeks)
 Some other known risks factors associated with cerebral palsy are:  
  • Rh or ABO blood type incompatibility between the mother and the child
  • Id the mother has German measles or another virus in the early stages of pregnancy
  • If the infant is attacked by a micro-organism on the central nervous system
 It's important to keep in mind that a child can have more than one risk factor at the same time. For instance, if he or she is born underweight and is also a twin.


Full post as published by Cerebral Palsy Law Blog on December 31, 2009 (boomark / email).

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