Can Cerebral Palsy Be Prevented?
To prevent cerebral palsy (CP), prospective parents should follow these guidelines:
- Get regular prenatal care.
- Expectant mothers and, in some cases, expectant fathers should get a simple blood test to determine their Rh factor. An incompatibility between mother and child usually does not cause problems with the first pregnancy. In addition, an immunization given to the mother after delivery of an Rh positive child can prevent problems for future pregnancies.
- Women should be immunized against rubella (German measles) before getting pregnant.
- Women who are expecting or who plan to become pregnant should try to avoid toxoplasmosis by not eating undercooked pork or lamb and by keeping away from cat litter boxes.
- Parents should follow safety precautions, such as using child safety seats in vehicles to prevent head injury and having children wear safety equipment, such as helmets, for bike riding or other activities.
- Parents should seek treatment right away for a baby who is jaundiced. If phototherapy isn't effective, as in some severe cases, a special form of blood transfusion can correct the jaundiced condition.