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What every parent should know about birth injuries

As first-time parents in California near their baby's due date, feelings of excitement and anticipation can often be over-shadowed by anxiety and nerves. Often, much of these unsettling emotions are rooted in a deep concern for their child and his or her health and safety. Because birth injuries do happen and can often be prevented with proper education and thorough care, it is imperative that parents receive a basic education about the risks their child may face during the process of delivery. 

According to Stanford Children's Health, birth trauma or birth injury are terms used to define an injury that an infant may experience during the birthing process. There are a variety of common birth injuries including the following:

  • Caput succedaneum: Swelling and bruising on the baby's head.
  • Facial paralysis: Usually the result of nerve damage.
  • Cephalohematoma: Bleeding in the head.
  • Fractures: Most commonly the collarbone or clavicle.

These types of injuries may be caused by several different things including labor that is prolonged or complicated, prematurity and cephalopelvic disproportion. They can also occur if a baby is abnormally large or positioned unnaturally during labor and delivery. 

If parents recognize that their child has been injured during birth or suspect that their child is suffering from birth trauma, the Huffington Post suggests some important actions to take. These include the following: 

  • Parents should watch for important or significant changes or delays in their child's development.
  • Parents should be proactive about taking legal action, especially before their child turns 18-years-old.
  • Parents should not discount any suspicions about their child's health. Any birth injury is serious enough to seek compensation, even if it is not considered severe. 

Parents of children injured at birth will benefit significantly from documenting all of their child's symptoms, as well as having evidence to back up their claims. Evidence that is supported by scientific studies can be even more useful in proving that a child's injury did indeed happen at birth.

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