When To Call a Doctor
Call 911 or other emergency services if your child with cerebral palsy (CP):
- Is having Reference problems breathing Opens New Window.
- Chokes during feeding and you are not able to dislodge the food.
Call a doctor right away if:
- Your child has a Reference seizure Opens New Window for the first time.
If you have a child diagnosed with CP, call your doctor if your child has:
- A seizure (if it is the first time, call your doctor or seek care right away).
- Constipation that isn't relieved by home treatment.
- Skin irritation that isn't getting better, starts to bleed or weep fluid, or causes pain.
- Feeding problems
that aren't relieved by home treatment, such as:
- A pattern of coughing and choking during feeding. If food is inhaled into the lungs, it increases the risk of Reference pneumonia Opens New Window.
- Trouble chewing, along with weight loss or complaints of being hungry.
- Frequent accidents that threaten your child's safety.
- Other signs of Reference complications. These may include bladder control problems, bleeding gums, or an increase in joint stiffness.
If you have cerebral palsy and you are pregnant, talk with a doctor about how CP can affect your pregnancy and delivery.
Who to see
A team of health care providers will be involved in your child's care. Health professionals who can diagnose and treat people who have cerebral palsy include:
- Reference Pediatricians Opens New Window (some pediatricians specialize in developmental disabilities).
- Reference Family medicine doctors Opens New Window.
- Reference Nurse practitioners Opens New Window.
- Reference Physician assistants Opens New Window.
- Reference Internists Opens New Window.
- Reference Neurologists Opens New Window.
- Reference Neurological surgeons Opens New Window.
- Reference Physiatrists Opens New Window, physical medicine and rehabilitative physicians, and other doctors who specialize in therapeutic and long-term treatment issues.
Other specialists who may be involved in the care of people who have CP include:
- Reference Gastroenterologists Opens New Window.
- Reference Ophthalmologists Opens New Window.
- Reference Orthopedic surgeons Opens New Window.
- Reference Pulmonologists Opens New Window.
- Reference Ear, nose, and throat specialists (otolaryngologists) Opens New Window.
- Reference Psychiatrists Opens New Window, Reference psychologists Opens New Window, Reference social workers Opens New Window, and psychiatric nurses.
Other health professionals who may be involved in the care of people who have CP include:
- Reference Occupational therapists Opens New Window.
- Reference Physical therapists Opens New Window.
- Reference Dentists Opens New Window or Reference orthodontists Opens New Window.
- Reference Hearing specialists (audiologists) Opens New Window.
- Reference Speech therapists Opens New Window (speech-language pathologists).
- Reference Registered dietitians Opens New Window.
Some health care clinics specialize in treating children with CP. Call your local health department for the nearest clinic in your area.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 20, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics