Data shows most kids not screened for developmental delays
Early detection is often key when it comes to minimizing the long-term negative impact of a serious medical condition, especially among children. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most kids are not getting the screenings they need to detect developmental delays.
The CDC report is based on a government survey of parents whose children between the ages of 10 and 47 months. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that young children should be screened for developmental delays every few months, the parents of nearly 80 percent of kids said their doctors did not ask them to participate in screenings the previous year.
Even more troubling is the fact that most health care providers failed to provide screenings even in situations where parents verbally expressed concerns about potential developmental delays. This is especially problematic because parents are often the first to recognize signs that a child’s development may be delayed. The failure to provide appropriate screening can result in delayed diagnosis of wide range of disorders and medical conditions, which may potentially affect the rest of the child’s life.
What are developmental delays?
As children grow and develop, they tend to reach certain milestones at predictable times. These milestones can provide an indicator of the child’s physical, social and cognitive growth. When a child does not reach these milestones at or around the expected age, it may indicate an underlying medical issue.
Developmental delays can take many different forms, but may include difficulties with:
- Social or emotional skills
- Speech or language
- Motor skills or movement
- Cognitive abilities
In some cases, developmental delays have no lasting ill-effects, and can arise from circumstances as benign as being exposed to more than one language at home – which can result in delayed language skills that tend to resolve by the time a child reaches school age.
Unfortunately, however, many delays can have lasting consequences, particularly if they are not detected and addressed early on. For instance, some developmental delays may indicate serious medical conditions such as brain injuries, metabolic disorders, chromosomal problems, infections and even malnutrition.
Although not true in every case, some developmental delays can be minimized or even eliminated completely if they are diagnosed and treated at an early age. In addition, appropriate screening and intervention can help prevent any underlying medical condition from worsening unnecessarily.
Seek legal advice if your child is harmed
If your son or daughter has been affected by a delayed or incorrect diagnosis, be sure to talk things over with a medical malpractice attorney in your area. You may be able to obtain financial compensation for the harm and expense that your child and your family have sustained as a result of the error.