Warning signs of cerebral palsy are often not apparent in your child’s first few days. Even if your child had cerebral palsy at birth, you might not know about it until months or years later, and that’s okay.
However, as a parent, you want to be aware of the signs of cerebral palsy so that you can get your child the proper treatment as early as possible and protect your child’s legal rights with the assistance of an experienced Louisville birth injury attorney.
Cerebral Palsy Signs to Watch for in Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children
Often the first hints that your child may have cerebral palsy occur when your child fails to meet developmental milestones. While not every delayed milestone leads to a cerebral palsy diagnosis, it is essential to talk to your child’s doctor if you notice any of the symptoms or missed milestones below.
Most of the early signs of cerebral palsy concern fine or gross motor movement rather than speech, emotional, or cognitive development.
Infants Aged Two to Six Months
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infants typically hit the following movement milestones within the first six months:
- Holds head up (by two months) and holds head steady without support (by four months)
- Begins to push up when laying on stomach (by two months) and pushes up on elbows (by four months)
- Makes smoother movements with arms and legs (by two months)
- Pushes down on legs if held with feet on a hard surface (by four months) and when standing, supports weight on legs (by six months)
- May roll over from tummy to back (by four months) and rolls over in both directions (by six months)
- Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at toys (by four months)
- Brings hand to mouth (by four months)
- Begins to sit without support (by six months)
- Rocks back and forth (by six months)
You may ask your doctor about cerebral palsy if your child doesn’t meet these milestones or exhibits any of the following symptoms:
- Stiff arms and legs
- Tilts their head back when picked up
- Floppy limbs
- Overextended back and neck as if they are pushing away from you
- Crossing or scissoring their legs when held or picked up
- Difficulty rolling over in either direction
- Trouble bringing hands together
- Trouble bringing hands to mouth
- Reach out with only one hand while keeping the other hand in a fist
Babies Aged Six to Nine Months
By nine months, many babies can:
- Get into a sitting position independently and sit without support
- Stand with support
- Pull into a standing position
You may contact your child’s pediatrician if you notice that your child is:
- Only using one side of the body to move
- Unable or refusing to crawl
Babies and Toddlers Older Than Ten Months
By eighteen months of age, many children can:
- Walk independently on flat ground
- Walk up steps and run
- Pull toys while walking
- Get undressed with some help
- Drink from a cup and eat from a spoon
You should speak with a healthcare provider if your child:
- Crawls in a lopsided way
- Scoots but does not crawl
- Can’t stand even with support
Only a doctor can diagnose cerebral palsy. The information provided above may give you information to consider and share with your doctor so that any condition, including cerebral palsy, can be diagnosed and treated.
Contact Our Louisville Birth Injury Attorney if Your Child Has Cerebral Palsy
After your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis, treatment may begin. Treatment is often expensive and continues throughout your child’s lifetime.
If your child has cerebral palsy and you think it may have been caused by medical negligence during labor or delivery, we encourage you to contact our Louisville birth injury attorney today for a free consultation about your rights.
It is never too soon after a diagnosis to contact a birth injury attorney, but it could be too late if you wait to take action. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact our Louisville birth injury attorney today to discuss your child’s rights and potential recovery. We will fight hard to get your child fair compensation. Call us, start a live chat with us, or complete our contact form today to learn more.