There are dangers that may affect children from their very births, and these dangers can often be prevented.
Children, it has been said, are America’s most important natural resource. They represent the future of our nation, as well as the motivation to build a better nation and a better world for them to inherit. Unfortunately, this most important population within our country is also the most vulnerable. Protecting them gets more and more difficult as they develop personalities and inevitably become independent of their parents, but there are dangers that may affect children from their very births, and these dangers can often be prevented. These dangers are birth defects.
Illinois Birth Defects Lawyer
Birth defects are abnormalities in the child that are present at birth. There are a number of causes, and there have been over 3000 individual birth defects identified. Some birth defects are relatively minor, but some are life threatening or cause severe mental or physical impairment that the child will need to deal with for the duration of their lives.
There are many steps that expectant mothers can take to prevent birth defects in their children. Some are obvious, like avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs during pregnancy. Others are less facially obvious, amongst these being the necessity of proper nutrition. Many birth defects are caused by a lack of some vitamin or mineral from the diet, and thus can be prevented with regular use of a supplement. A lack of folic acid in the body of the mother can lead to spine and brain conditions like anencephaly (lack of parts of the skull) and spina bifida (failure of the spine to properly clause, exposing nerves to damage).
Another preventative step is to closely monitor and maintain the mother’s body weight. Pregnancy is often tough on the body, and those who are overweight are already at risk for heart disease and diabetes. These can have a devastating effect on unborn children, leading to things like congenital heart disease.
While birth defects are potentially devastating, they can be prevented by educated mothers, health care professionals, and communities. The National Birth Defects Prevention Network has declared January National Birth Defects Prevention Month in an effort to better educate policy makers, doctors, and families on the nature of birth defects and their prevention. There is another danger facing unborn children, however, and there is little that can be done to prevent it. That danger is birth injuries.
Birth injuries also significantly affect the lives of children, but unlike birth defects, these do not occur during the pregnancy, but rather during the process of childbirth. If the doctor or hospital staff is negligent during childbirth, the baby could suffer an injury. It could be as minor as a bruise or broken bone. However, it could be as serious as nerve damage, cerebral palsy, or even death. If a baby suffers an injury due to negligence, the doctor and hospital staff may be liable for the cost and pain that the injury will cause throughout the child’s life.
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