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Cerebral Palsy


Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder of movement, balance, and coordination. CP is caused by problems with how your child's brain formed, or injury to the brain during pregnancy, birth, or early childhood. It is important to get help as early as possible to improve your child's quality of life.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child has sudden trouble breathing.

Call your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child is not able to eat or drink.
  • Your child is restless or upset as if he or she is in pain, and he or she does not improve with medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Medicines are used to decrease muscle spasms, seizures, and movements that your child cannot control.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider or specialist as directed:

Your child may need to return for more tests. He or she may be referred to a physical or speech therapist, or bone and nerve specialists. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


Therapy may help your child increase movement and strength, and reduce pain. This may include physical, occupational, or speech therapy, or help from bone and nerve specialists. Therapy will also provide ways for you to care for your child, and encourage him or her to be as social and independent as possible.

Help your child reach his or her physical and mental potential:

  • Proper nutrition will help keep your child healthy. Specialists may also help your child with swallowing or feeding problems so he or she can get the nutrients he or she needs.
  • Frequent checkups with your child's healthcare provider or specialist will be needed to monitor your child's growth, development, and general health. This will help find early signs or symptoms of CP. Your child will need regular physical, hearing, and eye exams.
  • Support devices such as splints, braces, or a wheelchair may be needed to help your child move around.
  • Vaccinations may be needed to prevent the flu and pneumonia. These infections are more dangerous for a child with CP. Ask your child's healthcare provider or specialist for more information.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Cerebral Palsy (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.