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

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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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According to Stanford’s Children Health, more than half of the falls that injure children happen to toddlers younger than four years of age. Infants tend to fall from stairs, furniture, and baby walkers. Although infants can receive injuries to all sections of the body, the head represents the one section of the body that parents must monitor closely. Infants that receive head trauma caused by a fall most likely suffer from some form of brain damage.

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Look for Specific Symptoms

The first thing to do involves searching for external signs of a head injury caused by a fall. External signsinclude cuts, bumps, abrasions, and wide-open wounds. The external signs of a head injury do not mean the infant has suffered brain damage. However, external signs should prompt parents to seek medical attention to determine the extent of the injury.

Elk & Elk

If you see your baby fall, but he or she does not display external signs of head trauma, you should look for other signs of brain damage. Abnormal breathing, as well as blood or clear fluid draining from the ear, nose, or mouth, indicates possible damage to the infant’s brain. Pupils of different sizes and a weakness of the body also can mean serious head trauma after an infant falls. Infants that have seizures or go unconscious for several minutes require emergency medical care.

Long Term Signs

Sometimes, an infant does not display any obvious signs of a head injury after a fall. It might take weeks, even months to pass before parents detect the signs of brain damage. Significant sleeping problems lead to lethargic behavior in what should be a typically energetic infant. Extreme sensitivity to light and sound indicates disruption of the neural network inside of the head. The onset of paralysis can take time and if not discovered soon enough, cause a lifelong disability.

Missing developmental milestones is another sign of serious head trauma that takes time to discover. An infant that misses important developmental deadlines for crawling, walking, and running should see a physician for one or more tests to determine the presence of brain issues. The inability to hold onto objects also indicates motor skill impairment caused by a strong blow to the head.


Signs of infant brain damage require physicians to use a neurological test called the Glasgow Coma Scale. The scale measures the level of infant consciousness. Running from 3 to 15, the testreports infant response speeds to stimuli by observing eye movement and verbal communication. The scale also measures an infant’s motor skills in response to stimuli. After observing an infant, a physician uses imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan to determine the level of damage. Imaging tests present clear evidence of skull fractures and brain hemorrhaging. Physicians often run EEG tests to detect irregularities in the electrical impulses that run through the brain.

Parents that suspect a fall has caused brain damage to an infant must seek medical attention immediately. By diagnosing and treating injuries to the head promptly, you improve the infant’s chances of enjoying a full recovery. Any delay in treating severe head trauma leads to life-threatening medical conditions.