Cerebral palsy within the first 2 or 3 years of life

Some children develop cerebral palsy (CP) because they experience brain damage within the first 2 or 3 years of life. Risk factors for brain damage include:

  • Serious illness. Severe jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia), meningitis, or severe lead poisoning (very rare) all can interfere with brain development and lead to CP.
  • Serious brain injury. An accident or fall can injure the brain. This type of injury also can result from shaking, throwing, or slamming down a baby (shaken baby syndrome, also called intentional head injury or IHI).
  • Lack of oxygen to brain tissues. Insufficient oxygen delivery to the brain can cause CP, such as the result of a brain tumor or a near-drowning incident.
  • Low blood sugar. Some newborns with severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may develop CP.

Last Updated: October 14, 2008

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.