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Cerebral Palsy - When To Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services if your child with cerebral palsy (CP):

  • Is having problems breathing.
  • Chokes during feeding and you are not able to dislodge the food.

Call a doctor right away if:

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  • Your child has a seizure for the first time.

If you have a child diagnosed with CP, call your doctor if your child has:

  • A seizure (if it is the first time, call your doctor or seek care right away).
  • Constipation that isn't relieved by home treatment.
  • Skin irritation that isn't getting better, starts to bleed or weep fluid, or causes pain.
  • Feeding problems that aren't relieved by home treatment, such as:
    • A pattern of coughing and choking during feeding. If food is inhaled into the lungs, it increases the risk of pneumonia.
    • Trouble chewing, along with weight loss or complaints of being hungry.
  • Frequent accidents that threaten your child's safety.
  • Other signs of complications. These may include bladder control problems, bleeding gums, or an increase in joint stiffness.

If you have cerebral palsy and you are pregnant, talk with a doctor about how CP can affect your pregnancy and delivery.

Who to see

A team of health care providers will be involved in your child's care. Health professionals who can diagnose and treat people who have cerebral palsy include:

Other specialists who may be involved in the care of people who have CP include:

Other health professionals who may be involved in the care of people who have CP include:

Some health care clinics specialize in treating children with CP. Call your local health department for the nearest clinic in your area.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 20, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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