Cerebral Palsy or CP is a group of disorders that affect a person’s balance, movement, posture, or muscle tone.
The word cerebral defines the part of the brain, the cerebrum, responsible for motor function in the body. At the same time, palsy refers to the problems or weakness of using body muscles. Thus, CP is a neurological disorder caused while a mother is pregnant or within the first two to three years after birth. The exact cause as to why CP occurs remains unclear to this date. However, some common factors that contribute include lack of oxygen at the time of delivery, lack of blood supply to the baby, genetic conditions, head injury, or any infection.
It is essential to learn the common risk factors that may increase cerebral palsy disorder in babies. Some of them are pregnant mothers with low weight or having twins or triplets, breech or premature birth, mothers having a history of consuming the toxic substance, etc. Moreover, the symptoms in a cerebral palsy patient may include variations in muscle tone, difficulty in walking, eating, speaking, tremors or seizures, etc. Be mindful, the different types of cerebral palsy may induce different movement disorders in a patient. The four main types of cerebral palsy are Spaastic, Dyskinetic, Ataxic, and Mixed Cerebral Palsy.
The diagnosis of cerebral palsy types plays a crucial role in determining the quality of care and treatment. For instance, a child with mild CP might not need any special ongoing assistance. However, in some severe CP cases, caregivers must stay on their toes continuously. Is it worrying you how to provide the best quality care to your cerebral palsy child? Then read on below some practical tips that may help you in this dilemma:
- BE A PART OF THE HEALTHCARE TEAM
It is no secret that a child with cerebral palsy has a team of healthcare providers to analyze and treat them. It may include pediatrician, occupational and speech therapist, specialist, neurologist, etc. All these professionals coordinate with each other to provide the best quality treatment to their patients. At the same time, all these healthcare professionals are indeed doing their job at best. It would help if you also remained well-informed about your child’s disorder and treatment. Being a part of your child’s condition can help you identify which treatments work best or setbacks in the treatment. Many healthcare professionals also encourage parents to get involved as much as possible in making the right health decisions for their children.
- STAY ORGANIZED
Raising a child with cerebral palsy is no walk in the park. Caretakers will face a fresh new challenge to deal with every day. There will be a lot of moving parts, therefore staying well-organized is the key. But, are you curious what exactly staying organized means? Simply put, you must keep all the records and documents in a safe place. After all, you don’t wish to run like a madman in case of an emergency. So, make sure to keep a list of doctor’s contact details, emergency numbers, medical records, appointment details, etc., with you. Moreover, maintaining things beforehand can alleviate your stress and help you react effectively.
- TAKE CARE OF DIET
Cerebral palsy children are more likely to suffer from weak bones, motor skills, and gastrointestinal issues. However, focusing on their diet can do wonders. Nutritious foods can help these children strengthen their muscles and bones. But, are you wondering why focus on a healthy diet when doctors have already prescribed medicines for calcium and vitamins? While it might be easy to take a pill and overcome deficiencies. The truth is it is best to intake all the nutrients from the natural diet instead of supplements to make your child healthy. Make sure to include milk, yogurt, fish, cheese, fruits, and vegetables in your child’s diet. In addition, it is advisable to ensure a child with CP drinks plenty of water to improve their muscle elasticity.
- TRY TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Let’s admit it; children with cerebral palsy disorder face difficulties in running and walking. For this reason, they might not be able to stay active as other children. However, living a healthy lifestyle is essential for all. Therefore, it is your responsibility to encourage your child to participate in sports activities. You don’t have to push them to win any game; instead, motivate them to participate in these activities to the best of their abilities. For example, help them walk if they can’t walk properly or teach them new skills while playing. That way, they can avoid cramps and make their muscles strong. Moreover, these activities can help your child with their social interactions. A best practice is to learn your child’s interests so they don’t develop social anxiety while participating in these activities.
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common childhood disorders worldwide. According to statistics, there are approximately 764,000 cerebral palsy patients, including children and adults. While there is no surefire way that guarantees it can prevent cerebral palsy up to this date. Still, some necessary precautions can help reduce the chance. These preventive measures include getting vaccinated, having routine checkups for early diagnosis, controlling health problems, and avoiding smoking and alcohol. Furthermore, taking care of a child with any disability is not a cakewalk. However, with consistent patience and compassion, you can help and support your child with CP and help them live their life in the best way possible.