Few things are as important to new parents as the growth and development of their child, so most parents will notice early on if their new bundle of joy seems to be having any physical problems following birth.

Arm injuries that occurred during birth may become apparent if you know how to spot the telltale signs. Early detection and treatment is key because these types of injuries can have life-long impacts. If left untreated, a child will develop a noticeable deficit in the affected arm, leaving him or her unable to use it effectively. That will severely limit the physical activities he or she will be able to participate in, and will likely also negatively impact the type of work he or she can perform, as fine motor skills such as typing could be physically impossible. In short it is something that everyone will notice.

If your child’s birth included complications he or she could be suffering from such an arm injury. There are several signs parents can watch for to determine if their child could be suffering from such an injury.

Does your child cry or wince every time he or she moves one arm? Does your child have the same range of motion in both arms? Does he or she seem unable to move either arm in a normal fashion? Can your child grasp objects in both hands, or does one seem weaker than the other?

If you have noticed any of these signs of trouble your child may have been injured during birth because of a complication called “shoulder dystocia,” which means one of his or her shoulders got stuck in the birth canal during delivery. This complication can arise through a number of factors, including malpractice.


Article by Dr. Charles Bowers

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