CAUSES, INTERVENTION AND PREVENTION
Cerebral Palsy: Some causes of cerebral palsy can be prevented. For example, bike helmets and car seats can prevent head injuries that might result in cerebral palsy. Another cause that can be prevented is kernicterus, a kind of brain damage that happens when a newborn baby has too much jaundice. If not treated, these high levels of bilirubin can damage a baby's brain. Kernicterus most often causes cerebral palsy and hearing loss, but in some children it can also cause mental retardation. Kernicterus can be prevented by using special lights (phototherapy) or other therapies to treat babies.
Developmental Delay: There isn’t one “right way” to prevent developmental delay. Consult a pediatrician for specific activities for your child. Some activities such as singing and reading to your child help to stimulate cognition and recognition of a mother’s voice by her child.
Hearing Loss: About half of all cases of hearing loss among children are thought to result from genetic factors. Hearing loss can also occur later in a child’s or adult’s life. Causes during this time include infection (such as meningitis, chronic middle ear infections, or measles), injuries (such as head injury), or certain drugs (such as the antibiotic gentamicin). High noise levels (such as from firecrackers or loud rock concerts) can also damage a person’s hearing. About 30 million workers are exposed to dangerous noise levels on their jobs. Another nine million are at risk of hearing loss as a result of working with certain metals or solvents.
Intellectual Disability: Right now, we do not know how to prevent most conditions that cause intellectual disability. However, there are some causes that can be prevented. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is one such cause. A woman can prevent FAS by not drinking when she is pregnant.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):
- Buckling your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child's height, weight, and age). Children should start using a booster seat when they outgrow their child safety seats (usually when they weigh about 40 pounds). They should continue to ride in a booster seat until the lap/shoulder belts in the car fit properly, typically when they are 4’9” tall.
- Wearing a helmet and making sure your children wear helmets when:
- Riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle;
- Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing;
- Using in-line skates or riding a skateboard;
- Batting and running bases in baseball or softball;
- Riding a horse; or
- Skiing or snowboarding.