Risk Factors

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More than 50 percent of newborns develop jaundice after birth. Severe, untreated jaundice can cause a neurological condition known as kernicterus, which kills brain cells and can cause deafness and cerebral palsy.
An infant who has seizures faces a higher risk of being diagnosed later in childhood with cerebral palsy.
Small for gestational age
Babies born smaller than normal for their gestational age are at risk for cerebral palsy because of factors that kept them from growing naturally in the womb.
Low Apgar score
The Apgar score is a numbered rating that reflects a newborn's condition. The higher the score, the more normal a baby's condition. A low score at 10-20 minutes after delivery is often considered an important sign of potential problems such as cerebral palsy.
Breech presentation
Babies with cerebral palsy are more likely to be in a breech position
Complicated labor and delivery
A baby who has vascular or respiratory problems during labor and delivery may already have suffered brain damage or abnormalities
Risk Factors
Mothers with thyroid abnormalities, mental retardation, or seizures
Mothers with any of these conditions are slightly more likely to have a child with cerebral palsy.
Exposure to toxic substances
Mothers who have been exposed to toxic substances during pregnancy, such as methyl mercury, are at a heightened risk of having a baby with cerebral palsy
Blood type incompatibility
Rh incompatibility is a condition that develops when a mother’s Rh blood type (either positive or negative) is different from the blood type of her baby.
Infections during pregnancy
Infectious diseases caused by viruses can infect the womb and placenta
Multiple births
Twins, triplets, and other multiple births are linked to an increased risk of cerebral palsy. The death of a baby’s twin or triplet further increases the risk.
Low birthweight and
premature birth
The risk of cerebral palsy is higher among babies who weigh less than 5 ½ pounds at birth or are born less than 37 weeks into pregnancy.
Medical Conditions or Events During Pregnancy that Will Increase a Baby’s Risk of being Born with Cerebral Palsy
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. www.ninds.nih.gov
Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy

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