Birth Injuries: Cerebral Palsy in Infants and Newborns

How Do I Know If My Child Has Cerebral Palsy? Signs of CP in Infants and Newborns

New mothers spend a lot of time worrying. They worry about who will care for their child if something should happen, they worry about their child’s health, and they worry about whether their baby is developing normally. One thing they may not think to worry about is birth injuries.

Unlike other birth injuries, cerebral palsy (CP) is not always apparent right away. In fact, there are often no signs at all in young newborns. Symptoms of CP do not become evident until the child grows and the nervous system matures.

What are the signs of cerebral palsy in newborns and infants?

In many infants, the first sign of CP is seizures. However, there are many causes of seizures. It is important that any infant who suffers a seizure be seen by a doctor as seizures can be warning signs of several serious medical conditions.

Other symptoms of CP in infants:

  • Jerky, uncoordinated movements
  • Stiff, rigid muscles
  • Lack of muscle tone that makes the baby seem limp or floppy
  • Writhing, slow movements
  • Obvious left- or right-handedness
  • Strabismus (one eye turning inward or outward)
  • Not walking, walking on toes, or walking with a stiff gait

Children with cerebral palsy often fail to meet age-appropriate milestones. In infants, these milestones include:

  • Infant does not blink at loud noises by one month
  • Infant does not lift his or her head by two months
  • Infant does not turn his or her head towards a sound by four months
  • Infant will not reach for a toy by four months
  • Infant does not roll over or sit unsupported by seven months
  • Infant does not say words by 12 months

If your child shows signs of cerebral palsy, discuss the possibility of CP with your pediatrician.

There are many possible causes of cerebral palsy, but if you had a difficult birth or delivery, your child’s CP may be due to a birth injury. If you have question about who is responsible for your child’s CP, a Memphis birth injury lawyer can help. Birth injury attorneys are able to investigate your medical records and determine if medical negligence played a role in your child’s disability. In some cases, your family may qualify for monetary compensation for your child’s disability and medical care. To learn more, contact the Tennessee birth injury attorneys at Bailey & Greer at 901-680-9777, or request a free copy of our book, How to Cope With and Survive Tennessee Birth Injuries.