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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Helping with Recovery

When the initial phase of a baby’s recovery from a brain injury is complete, many of the recovery team members may withdraw from the process.

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This may leave one or two medical professionals in place for ongoing therapy that may be necessary or to check progress, but at this stage, recovery is left largely up to the parents to manage. This is when good parenting skills are critical to ensuring the child has the best chance of restoring much of their physical and mental faculties.

Recovery from Brain Injury in Babies and Infants

Recovery of babies and infants from brain injuries pose challenges that are unlike those presented by older children. The neuroplasticity of the brain can’t be relied on to restore all functionality, and the degree of recovery will depend on the type and severity of the injury.

Elk & Elk

Recovery is further complicated by communication difficulties with children of this age. They may also have little pre-injury baseline data to evaluate the effects of the injury, and these may only become apparent when expected skills can fail to develop.

Children in this age group are reliant on their family unit for support. Their recovery will depend to a large extent on the ability of parents and siblings to manage the process. The CanChild program of McMaster University in Canada recommends the following regimen for babies and infants after brain injury:

How Neonatal Brain Injuries Occur

  • Observe the baby closely for the first 48 hours after injury to see if more serious symptoms develop.
  • Keep the infant quiet and out of childcare for a week if possible. After that, advise the child care giver to avoid rough play and to monitor them closely.
  • Infants and children should not return to normal play activities until a medical professional advises it is safe to do so.
  • Monitor the child for several weeks after the incident for any changes in behavior or personality which may require further medical assessment.

The Challenges Facing Older Children with Brain Injuries

The Brain Injury Association of America reminds us that children should not be treated like little adults and can’t be expected to bounce back from this type of injury in the same way. Babies and children’s brains are still in development until their late teens, and many effects of brain trauma will only manifest as the baby ages.

Parents need to keep these in mind when helping with the recovery process and learn mechanisms to counteract any negative reactions while reinforcing positive attitudes. Parents know their children best and should detect manifestations of these reactions early on in recovery to manage them.

Guidelines for Helping a Child With Rehabilitation

Brainline provides a comprehensive guide for parents to help with an infant or child’s recovery from a brain trauma. It recommends understanding and managing the changes in cognition. Encourage your child when frustration sets in and remind them that the brain needs time to heal. It also suggests enlisting the help of other family members. Allocate responsibilities to family members to assist in the baby’s adjustment to new life at hom