Developmental Delays and Maryland Birth Injuries
Watching a newborn child grow and develop can be an exciting time in any parent's life. Each day, a child seems to do something new, especially during the first five years of their life. This is when children learn to walk and talk and achieve other important milestones.
That's why it's important for Maryland parents to closely monitor anything out of the ordinary with their child. If you believe your child is developing at a slower rate physically or emotionally, that could be sign that your child has a developmental delay.
If your child has a development delay, that could mean your child sustained a birth injury shortly before, during or after their birth. Such injuries are often very serious and often require extensive medical care. That's why it's important to have your child examined right away if you suspect a developmental delay.
Warning signs of developmental delays
How do you know if your child has a developmental delay? Sometimes, such issues can be easy to identify. Often, noticing that something's wrong with your newborn child can very challenging. That's why it's important to know what to look for, especially during the first five years of your child's life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common warning signs that your child could have a developmental delay include:
- Two months after birth - Baby doesn't respond to loud sounds, doesn't smile.
- Four months - Baby doesn't watch things move, doesn't make sounds, has trouble hold head steady.
- Six months - Doesn't express affection with caregivers, doesn't reach for things within reach, doesn't laugh or make squealing sounds.
- Nine months - Cannot sit up without help, doesn't respond to own name, doesn't recognize familiar people.
- One year - Doesn't crawl, doesn't say single words, doesn't point to things.
- 18 months - Doesn't walk, doesn't learn new words, doesn't copy other people.
- Two years - Doesn't use two-word phrases, doesn't walk steadily, doesn't recognize common objects like forks or toothbrushes or telephones.
- Three years - Falls a lot, unclear speech, doesn't make eye contact, doesn't want to play with other children or play with toys.
- Four years - Has trouble drawing, not interested in make believe or interactive games, speaks unclearly, ignores other children, doesn't respond to people outside family.
- Five years - Easily distracted, exhibits extreme behavior, shows limited range of emotions, doesn't draw pictures, can't brush teeth on own.
Children develop at their own pace but it's always better to be cautious if you suspect something's wrong. Talk to your family doctor. Get a second opinion. Make an appointment for your child to see a specialist. It's always better to know what's happening as soon as possible. That way, your child can receive the necessary treatment and care in a timely manner.
Causes of developmental delays
Developmental delays in young children happen for different reasons. Causes vary from child to child but often, there are similarities between different cases involving birth injuries. Common causes include:
- Oxygen deprivation of child during pregnancy or delivery.
- Injuries sustained by child during delivery.
- Untreated infections during pregnancy - either with mother or infant.
- Premature delivery.
- Physical injury sustained by newborn child.
- Traumatic brain injury sustained by child.
Knowing what to do if you suspect your child has a development delay due to a birth injury can be overwhelming. That's why it's important for parents in Maryland to take such concerns seriously right from the start. We want to help.
What Maryland parents can do
If your child's developmental delay occurred because of a birth injury, you may be able to take legal action against the medical professional, hospital or whoever was responsible for your injury. That might sound straightforward, but you will need evidence to support your claim. That's why it's important to talk with a lawyer who understands how the legal system works in Maryland. Otherwise, you might have a hard time getting the financial compensation you deserve.
An experienced lawyer knows how to identify who was at fault and how to find the facts that matter. Whether it was medical malpractice (something a medical professional did wrong) or medical negligence (something a medical professional didn't do), an attorney can help you decide what to do. Schedule a free consultation today with a lawyer who can help your family in Maryland.