Premature Babies

A baby is considered premature if he or she is born before the 37th week of gestation. The prematurity was in times one of the most common causes of infant mortality, but the evolution of the medical treatments has contributed to an continuously increased their survival rate.

Some characteristics of a premature baby:

  • Low weight when at birth; 
  • Small size; 
  • Head and hands are relatively bigger; 
  • Skin smooth and thin; 
  • Visible veins under the skin; 
  • Irregular breathing; 
  • Difficulties in suction; 
  • A weak and irregular cry. 
The motor and mental deficits are 3 times more frequent in babies of the male gender; and usually they will present difficulties: 
  • In the development of language; 
  • In the visual- motor integration; 
  • Attention and memory. 
At school age frequently present behaviour and learning disabilities (Generally this implication appears due to the low family and school demanding that is made to these children’s), so it is important that these children’s are stimulated.

Regarding the intelligence, even if in the media, premature babies generally have lowers than the average I.Q´s. However 80% of the premature don’t reveal any compromise regarding there I.Q Level and when that happens usually is associate to other factors (like cerebral hemorrhagic) and not prematurity.

Regarding the language, at 12 months 8% presents a serious delay in his language skills; at 24 months 28 presets a compromise in the expressive language and 6% a compromise in the receptive language.

The premature child with no other medical or neurologic complications do not presents any compromise regarding this aspect.

Like any other cognitive function the family relation seems to modify and with very frequency in a significantly scale the factors responsible for the cognitive defect.

With reference to attention and memory, the studies have been contradictory, and it changes from child to child.

The prematurity presents a high risk in a variety of disturbances of the development, since the more sever disturbances like the cerebral palsy and the intellectual deficiency, to a series of dysfunctions less sever in areas like the expressive language and comprehension, visual-motor abilities, attention, learning process and memory.

The percentage of cases that present this complications mite not be that high like the cumin sense will expect, but it exist in sufficient number to justify a psychological and neuropsychological evaluation of all the cases, with in the need of foil and trigger the necessary interventions to the minimization of the damage.

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