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Possible Causes for Developmental Delays (page 2)

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Apr 30, 2014

Environmental Factors that May Place a Child at Risk

Factors that may place a child at risk include:

  1. Living in families that are at lower socioeconomic levels;
  2. Living in families with varied cultural backgrounds;
  3. Living in families classified as dysfunctional;
  4. Being born to teenage mothers or mothers more than forty years old;
  5. Growing up in homes where English is not the primary language spoken:
  6. Being exposed prenatally to viruses, drugs, or alcohol;
  7. Being born into families with other children who have developmental delays;
  8. Being born to mothers who were malnourished during pregnancy;
  9. Being born to mothers who have diabetes, thyroid disorders, syphilis, or other viral infections.

Medical Complications that May Occur During the First Month of Life

Medical complications that may occur during the first month of life include:

  1. Hypoglycemia-low blood sugar;
  2. Hypocalcemia-low blood calcium;
  3. Hyperbilirubinemia-a jaundiced/yellow color due to abnormal blood pigments;
  4. Respiratory distress syndrome-breathing difficulties that may be caused by immaturity of the lungs, infections, ete., and that may damage vital organs, especially the brain, heart, and kidneys, due to lack of enough oxygen;
  5. Traumatic disorders-injuries to the head, spine, hands, feet, or legs;
  6. Infections of the brain-conditions caused by viruses or bacteria, such as meningitis or encephalitis;
  7. Degenerative diseases-conditions that affect the nervous system and cause gradual deterioration of it;
  8. Metabolic and genetic disorders-conditions that affect the brain because the child's body either does not make or destroys some substances it needs; these traits are usually inherited;
  9. Brain tumors-growths on or within the brain;
  10. Drug-induced delays-prenatal exposure to prescription drugs, sedatives, vitamins, alcohol, or drug abuse;
  11. Seizure disorders-conditions that can indicate epilepsy or other brain diseases;
  12. Injuries due to battered child syndrome-conditions caused by neglect or abuse.
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