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Developmental Delays and Pennsylvania Birth Injuries

Every parent dreams of watching their child grow up. Some medical issues can threaten that dream by causing children to fall behind in critical areas of development. If your child seems to be falling behind his or her peers, you may be witnessing signs of a birth injuries.

What are developmental delays?

Human development is a series of milestones, such as a child's first steps or first words. Of course, every child develops at a different pace, so each milestone has a "normal" age range. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) CDC list of developmental milestones is an important resource for parents to track their children's development.

Parents can also catch on to developmental delays by watching how their children play and interact with other children who are the same age. Again, every child is different, so it's normal for some children to be a little ahead and others a little behind, but if a child seems to be falling significantly behind, that could be a sign of a birth injury.

A related issue is that some underlying medical issues can cause children to regress, losing skills they once had. Brief regressions or "two steps forward, one step back" are normal, but sustained regression in multiple areas may be a sign of a birth injury.

How to respond to a developmental delay

The most important step a parent can take is to make sure their child is getting regular checkups with a pediatrician and bring up any concerns during those checkups. Doctors who work with children are trained to monitor a child's development and recognize signs of developmental delays. Not all doctors are the same, and some may be dismissive. If something seems wrong, get a second opinion. Be an advocate for your child.

While many developmental delays are signs of problems such as cerebral palsy that can never be truly cured, early intervention is critical. Finding out what is wrong is the first step toward maximizing your child's quality of life. All birth injuries can be treated and managed to some extent, and the sooner your child starts getting help, the better.

Developmental delays can also be indicative of negligence on the part of medical professionals during pregnancy, birth or neonatal care. If that's the case, a Pennsylvania birth injury attorney can help you hold those medical professionals accountable. We recommend scheduling a free consultation with a birth injury expert from the Help For Your Baby network. If you need an attorney for your Pennsylvania birth injury, our injury experts will review your situation and, if necessary, put you in touch with one.