While some birth injuries suffered by children are immediately apparent following delivery, many other birth injuries do not begin causing noticeable signs or symptoms until months or years following birth. Here are the birth injury signs that parents should look out for in the days, weeks, and months following their child’s birth, as well as what steps parents should take to protect their family’s legal rights if their child does suffer a birth injury.
Post-Birth Signs of Birth Injuries to Children
Immediately following delivery, signs of birth injuries in children can include:
- Bruising, swelling, lacerations, or abrasions on the head, face, or shoulders
- Failure to begin breathing or onset of respiratory distress
- Lack of muscle tone
- Loose, limp, or oddly positioned arms
Long-Term Signs of Child Birth Injuries
Many birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, do not cause noticeable symptoms until months following delivery when children fail to meet development milestones or begin displaying physical abnormalities as they grow. At each of the important developmental milestones for infants and toddlers, here are some common signs that a child may have suffered a birth injury:
- One month old – Feeds slowly, slow to blink or react to bright lights, doesn’t move limbs much, appears to have loose or stiff limbs
- Three months old – Fails to respond to loud noises, weak grip strength, unable to support their head, doesn’t push down with the legs when feet are placed on a firm surface
- Seven months old – Stiff of thigh muscles, unable to sit upright without assistance, cannot roll over, their body feels floppy or like a ragdoll when held
- Twelve months old – Unable to crawl, cannot stand even if supported, no progress in language skills
As children reach ages two and three, parents should continue to look out for signs of slow physical development, such as weak arm and hand strength, inability to maintain a grip on items, or difficulty walking. Cognitive signs of birth injuries may include slow language development and apparent visual or hearing difficulties.
Read more: Is A Birth Injury Avoidable?
What to Do If Your Child May Have Suffered a Birth Injury
If you believe your child may have sustained a birth injury, your family may have a claim to recover compensation if your child’s injury was caused by your OB/GYN’s negligence. Steps your family should take to protect your legal rights and options include:
- Seek a second medical opinion regarding your child’s symptoms and signs of birth injury from your child’s treating pediatrician or from a second pediatrician
- Gather medical records from your obstetric care and from your child’s early pediatric care
- Keep copies of bills and invoices for expenses your family incurs to help treat and care for your child’s birth injury. This includes medical expenses, purchases of medical or mobility equipment, home health services, or special education services
- Follow your child’s pediatrician’s treatment instructions and recommendations
Finally, make time to speak to a birth injury attorney who can review the details of your case and advise you regarding your family’s legal options for pursuing a medical malpractice claim if your child’s birth injury was caused by your OB/GYN or other medical provider’s negligence.
Contact A Voorhees Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Birth Injury Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Haddonfield birth injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Andres & Berger P.C. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Lindenwold, and Mt. Laurel. Call us today at 856-317-6558 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 264 Kings Hwy. E., Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.