Children at Risk

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Importance of Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is the health care you receive while pregnant. It is important to get early and

regular prenatal care and to follow your doctor’s advice. Babies whose mothers do not receive prenatal care

are more likely to be have low birth weight and other health related issues than those born to mothers

who do get care.


Find out more about Prenatal Care:


Premature Birth

A premature birth or preterm birth is one that occurs at least three weeks before a
baby’s due date or less than 37 weeks. A full term birth is 40 weeks. The earlier a
baby is born, the more likely it is that there will be health problems. Some will spend
weeks or months hospitalized in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and may face
lifelong problems.

March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign


More information from the National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development on Preterm Labor and Birth:


Medically Fragile

A medically fragile infant or child is dependent on life sustaining medications, treatments or equipment. Although their conditions may be considered stable, their care often requires skilled nursing. Prematurity, cerebral palsy, heart conditions, spina bifida, and traumatic brain injuries are examples of some conditions that might cause a child to be considered medically fragile.


Failure to Thrive

This is a term used to describe children with significantly low weight or weight gain.
Failure to thrive can result from a variety of medical causes such as metabolic disorders, heart or lung problems, and cerebral palsy or hormone deficiencies. It can also be the result of environmental factors such as poor eating habits, poverty, neglect or exposure to toxins or parasites.


Drug Use During Pregnancy

The use of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and heroin during pregnancy may cause premature delivery, withdrawal symptoms, birth defects, behavioral problems and/or learning disabilities. Find out more about Illicit Drug use During Pregnancy.:


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can include physical problems and problems with behavior and
learning. These conditions are the result of the mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Find out more about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders


Obesity in Children

Obesity affects the health and well-being of a child both immediately and in the future.
As children, they may develop high cholesterol or high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and social and psychological problems. As they become adults, they are more likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some types of cancer and osteoarthritis.
Find out more about Childhood Obesity.



Hearing and Vision Impairments

Children with hearing and vision impairments are at greater risk for developmental delays
in speech and language development, communication and learning. Children who
are identified early and receive appropriate interventions have fewer delays.

Find out more about Vision Impairments

Find our more about hearing loss :

Find resources for hearing loss and Deaf-Blindness.: