How to Prevent Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect someone's ability to move and command the way in which they hold or carry themselves. CP is caused by brain damage. This damage may occur during pregnancy, during delivery, or within the first few years of the child's life. Some causes of CP can be prevented.


  1. Image titled Prevent Cerebral Palsy Step 1
    Seek appropriate prenatal care as early as possible in your pregnancy. Proper prenatal care can help prevent premature birth, low birth weight, and infections - all of which could lead to CP.
  2. Image titled Prevent Cerebral Palsy Step 2
    Do not use alcohol, tobacco products, or drugs during your pregnancy. This increases the risk of premature delivery, making your infant more susceptible to illness.
  3. Image titled Prevent Cerebral Palsy Step 3
    Have your infant vaccinated. There are numerous infections that can be prevented by having your child vaccinated. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (bacterial meningitis) is a known common cause of CP. Rubella, better known as the measles, in early childhood can also be a cause of CP. Vaccinations against both these infections are important for your infant.
  4. Image titled Prevent Cerebral Palsy Step 4
    Avoid head injuries. Take the following steps to protect your child from possible brain damage:
    • Use the appropriate car seats and booster seats.
    • Watch over your child in playgrounds. Never allow young children to climb on play equipment unattended.
    • Make sure your child wears a helmet when riding a bicycle.
  5. Image titled Prevent Cerebral Palsy Step 5
    Be on the lookout for signs of jaundice in your infant. A little jaundice is quite common in newborns. Left untreated it can cause Kernicterus, a type of brain damage that can cause CP. Look for the following symptoms:
    • The baby's skin is yellow or orange in color, starting at the head and covering the body.
    • The whites of the eyes have a yellowish tint.
    • The child is fussy and is not eating normally.
    • You have difficulty waking the child or getting the child to sleep at all.
    • The child does not soil a diaper as often as normal.
  6. Image titled Prevent Cerebral Palsy Step 6
    Seek immediate emergency treatment if you witness any of the following in your infant:
    • Ceaseless crying at a high pitch.
    • The body becomes bowed, with the head and heels bent backward and the body forward.
    • Bizarre eye movements.
    • A limp, floppy, or stiff body.


  • More than 80% of people with CP developed the condition before they were born or before they were a month old.
  • Infants should be checked for jaundice every 8-12 hours in the first 48 hours and once more before 5 days of age.
  • CP symptoms differ from one person to another. The symptoms can even change over time.


  • Children born prematurely or who are very low birth weight are more apt to have difficulties that could lead to CP.
  • Cerebral palsy cannot be cured.

Article Info

Categories: Disability Issues | Pregnancy