Monday, April 22, 2019

Raising Awareness for CP | Every Kid Health Week

Every Kid Health Week (April 22 – 26) is not just a week of awareness for children’s’ health, but an international movement of kids with special needs and their parents. The annual week is inspired by a vision of physical education and social opportunities for both children and adults

What is Cerebral Palsy?
Around the world, 17 million people have cerebral palsy. The most common childhood physical disability, CP affects movement and its effects can vary widely from person to person. Some people may have weakness in one hand while others may struggle with an overall lack of controlled, voluntary movement. And while 50 percent of children with CP also have intellectual disabilities, many people with CP have no cognitive impairment and work as doctors, lawyers and other professionals.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage, usually before, during or immediately after birth, while a child's brain is still growing and developing.

One of the best-known causes of CP is birth trauma or injuries during birth. There are a number of factors that can lead to brain injuries before birth or during labor and delivery, including medical malpractice and doctor errors as well as accidents or domestic abuse.

Types of Cerebral Palsy
Different people have different types of CP, and each one has different symptoms and characteristics. These common types of CP include:

  • Dyskinetic cerebral palsy: Also known as athletoid or dystonic CP, it is the second most common type of CP. It involves slow, writhing movements or repetitive twisting motions as well as an awkward posture.

  • Ataxic cerebral palsy: The least common form of CP, it involves tremors, shaking and poor balance.

  • Mixed cerebral palsy: This involves a combination of symptoms that reflect a combination of more than one type of CP.

Challenges for People with Cerebral Palsy
When people have cerebral palsy, their ability to control their muscles is limited. Some muscles may contract too forcefully and others too little. People's limbs may be forced into awkward positions, sometimes causing pain. Others may have involuntary muscle contractions that make their limbs shake or tremble. Some people may have difficulty carrying out everyday actions that require motor skills and muscle coordination, including walking, tying shoes or writing.

In almost all cases, CP itself is not life-threatening and people with CP live long, adult lives thanks to modern medical treatments. However, while therapies can help to mitigate the effects of the condition on the body, no cure has yet been developed.

Treatments for Cerebral Palsy
There are several types of treatments that can help people with CP to live fuller, more comfortable lives. Medications can be used to control seizures or spastic movements as well as to reduce pain. Some children with CP may have surgery to improve their orthopedic functions and repair dislocated joints. In addition, physical, occupational and other forms of therapy can help provide physical, social and mental benefits to children and adults with CP.

Again, millions of people with CP live in communities around the world. Their lives can only be improved by greater inclusion, awareness and advocacy. During Every Kid Healthy Week, people can share information to spread knowledge, support and celebration for kids with CP everywhere.

The web is full of great information about developmental disability, including cerebral palsy (CP). Some great information for CP and surrounding topics is available at Check out their blog and connect with their authors at Also, check out what’s going on for Every Kid Health Week at