Important Information On Cerebral Palsy

Having children of my own, I love reading articles that builds my knowledge about children. There are so many different things that parents or soon to be parents do not know and some of these things are pretty important. Whenever I read something interesting or important, I like sharing it as it might help someone in some way.

Looking At Cerebral Palsy

1958What is Cerebral Palsy or CP for short? Even though this is a condition that occurs in two to three children out of every one thousand born, there are still many people who don’t understand exactly what it is. Cerebral palsy is a medical term used to describe a group of disorders and impairments that cause defects or lesions to form on the developing brain of very young children. It can affect one part of the brain or the defect can be found in several different places. It can also be caused by head trauma or certain types of infections that occur during or after birth.

What It Is

It’s a serious condition that causes cognitive and motor impairment. The child cannot control their reflexes and muscles all over the body can tighten up. This condition is not inherited nor is it a contagious disease. It develops during child birth or within the first few years of childhood, usually by the time the child reaches two or three years of age. There are different types of cerebral palsy, such as spastic cerebral palsy and athetoid cerebral palsy. The symptoms associated with this condition will vary with each child and it can be mild or extremely severe. Information on cerebral palsy is crucial to parents to help identify this condition in their children.

In The Long Run

With mild cases, the person can grow and live a fairly normal life because this condition is not progressive. In other words, the damage done to the brain will not get any worse as the child continues to mature but the symptoms do change with time. In some cases, the symptoms may get better and they may not be very noticeable. However, in other cases, the symptoms can get much worse.

The Different Cases Of Cerebral Palsy

The symptoms will be different in each person and they can affect one or both sides of the body. In mild cases signs of cerebral palsy may include the person seeming a little awkward and some things may be more difficult for them than it should be, but they can usually get by without special care. On the other hand, severe cerebral palsy can completely disable a person making it necessary for someone else to care for them their whole life. Complications that are associated with cerebral palsy include seizures, tooth decay, sensory deficits, hearing impairment, vision problems, learning disabilities or mental retardation and gastrointestinal dysfunction.

Special Care

A child with severe CP will need a nursing care plan for cerebral palsy because it can be difficult caring for them on your own. Everything from bathing your child to feeding them can be a challenge. Patients with this condition are prone to accidents so it will be necessary to take special steps to insure their safety and never leave them alone.

Cerebral palsy is the most common problem associated with disabilities in children yet, it is often misunderstood. More information on cerebral palsy must be made available to parents to empower them to understand their child’s condition. It’s not easy for parents to learn that their child has this condition but the more you know about it, the easier it will be for the whole family to accept and live with it. There’s no doubt that it will take a lot of love and patience to care for a child with this condition but there is help available when you know where to search for it.

Cerebral Palsy Wheelchairs And Safety

Many patients that have cerebral palsy need the assistance of a wheelchair to help them get around. It helps to provide them with a little more freedom than what they would have without it. This makes it easier for the whole family and helps to improve the emotional state of the patient. There are different types of wheelchairs available and in order to choose the right one, it would be helpful to know a little about the different options of cerebral palsy wheelchairs.

Selecting Your Wheelchair

Cerebral palsy wheelchairs come in both manual operated and motorized versions. You’ll need to take into consideration what type of CP the patient has when making your selection. If the cerebral palsy affects the arms and hands (spastic cerebral palsy) preventing them from being able to manually move the wheelchair, then a motorized wheelchair would be the best choice. However, if their arms and hands are unaffected, it wouldn’t really make a difference.1958

Consult The Therapist

It’s always a good idea to talk to the therapist before selecting a wheelchair for children. They will be able to tell you which one would be the most beneficial based on the condition of your child. They have the experience to know how the cerebral palsy will affect your child in the future and they have the knowledge to help you make a decision that will benefit the patient for many years. It’s recommended that you always consult the physical therapist before making your final decision.

Wheelchair Maintenance

Cerebral palsy wheelchairs are designed to be used in the home and in a school environment. It needs to be suited to the child’s stature but take into consideration how much the child may grow in the next few years. Maintenance is another issue that needs to be addressed but it’s not as important as making sure the child can operate the wheelchair on their own. The manual wheelchair requires the least amount of maintenance but if they are not suited for your child, this is not an option.

Most Economical Choice

One of the most economical choices is called the “growth wheelchair” because they are designed with what is called “growth kits”. These are adjustable and some parts are even replaceable so your child will be able to use them for many years. Once you have made your selection you need to be aware of wheelchair safety. There are some things that you should know in order to help prevent injury to the child from use of the wheelchair. You do not want a wheelchair injury to undo all the hard work of the cerebral palsy treatments.

Wheelchair Practice

If you’ve never been in a wheelchair, you may not know that the center-of-gravity is very important. Reaching and bending can cause the wheelchair to tip over. To prevent this from occurring, the patient needs to practice moving around in different positions while someone is monitoring them. This way they can learn what the safety zone is. Someone in a wheelchair should never attempt going up and down curbs or steps without the assistance of someone else. Before the assistant tips a wheelchair, they should let the patient know. They need to make sure their hands and feet are not in a position where they can be pinched and they will need to lean backwards to make it go more smoothly.

When trying to pick up something, the wheelchair should be as close to the object as possible. The wheels should be in the locked position to prevent it from rolling out from under the patient and they should never strain to reach something. Wheelchair safety is a big issue and it should not be taken lightly. Choosing a cerebral palsy wheelchair should only be done after consulting with a qualified physical therapist, and after you have obtained information on wheelchair safety.