What are the Causes of Disability among children?

There can be many reasons for the disabilities amongst the children. There are many factors or situations before or after birth which can lead to the abnormalities and disabilities in the children.

(i) Before birth

During prenatal period an impact on mother's womb can harm the child. If the mother gets infection or disease, the baby is also badly affected. During pregnancy if the mother suffers from any kind of nutritional deficiency, it can also lead to deficiency in the baby. As a result, the baby can be physically or mentally deficient.

(ii) At the time of birth

During the process of delivery sometimes many factors can lead to bad effect on the child. Difficulty in delivery can cause temporary stoppage of oxygen supply to the brain of the baby. It damages nervous tissues of the brain or spinal cord and this effect is permanent. This can cause mental deficiency in the baby. Sometimes the baby becomes physically handicapped.

When the doctors take help of various equipments during the delivery, for example, in forceps delivery, the 'brain' or 'nerve' is pressed by the forceps. If the doctor or nurse is not very well trained, they can cause damage to the baby.

As a result, the part of body with which the pressed or damaged 'nerve' can be related to is permanently damages. It is always advisable that delivery should be done at a nursing home or hospital under the guidance of the doctor or trained nurses. So any emergency during delivery can be tackled properly.

(iii) After birth

If proper care of the child is not done after birth then the baby may also develop disability, e.g., if the eyes of the baby are not washed with 1% nitrate solution there are chances of his getting blind.

(iv) Malnutrition

If the child doesn't get proper nutrition, he gets physically weak. Deficiency of calcium leads to malformation of bones; deficiency of iodine leads to deficiency of thyroxine hormone which upsets the process of growth of the body.

Deficiency of vitamin 'A' can cause blindness in the children. Protein and energy malnutrition causes 'Sukha Rog' which causes physical and mental deficiency.

(v) Accident

Due to any accident the child can become disabled, e.g., road accident can cripple a child and he can get blind, deaf and dumb. Sometimes wrong medication can also cause such effects that may make the child permanently disabled.

(vi) Hereditary factors

Sometimes children receive genes of disabilities or deficiencies from their parents. The child can be blind or deaf or dumb or mentally retarded by birth.

(vii) Infectious diseases

If the child gets infectious diseases the immunity power of the child gets diminished. He becomes susceptible to various diseases. If the child is not properly immunised he becomes susceptible to infectious diseases like 'mumps' which can cause hearing impaired or 'polio' which can cripple the child.

(viii) Effect of endocrine glands

Due to the disturbance in endocrine glands a child may suffer from various physical and mental deficiency. If thyroid gland is not working properly, then it can create many problems.