7 Cerebral Palsy Nursing Care Plans


Cerebral Palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that affect body movement, balance, and posture. In many cases, speech, vision difficulties, seizure or cognitive problem are also affected. It is caused by the abnormal development or damage to a part of the brain that controls movement. It usually appears early in life, usually in infancy or early childhood.

Symptoms of a child with cerebral palsy vary from one person to person which may include: delayed in reaching developmental milestones, weakness in one or more arm or leg, lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements (ataxia), muscle spasms, muscle tone that either are too stiff or too floppy, fidgety, jerky or clumsy movements, walking on tip-toes, or excessive drooling or difficulties swallowing or speaking.

There is no known cure for the condition, but supportive treatments, therapy, medications, and surgery are facilitated to improve the life of the child.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing goals for a client with cerebral palsy include optimize mobility and prevent deformity, improve nutritional status, strengthen family support, foster self-care, enhanced communication and provide quality of life.

Here are seven nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis for cerebral palsy:

  1. Impaired Physical Mobility
  2. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements
  3. Impaired Verbal Communication
  4. Ineffective Therapeutic Regimen Management
  5. Risk for Injury
  6. Risk for Delayed Growth and Development
  7. Risk for Self-Care Deficit

Risk for Injury 

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Risk for Injury

May be related to

  • Impaired motor function
  • Seizure activity

Possibly evidenced by

  • [not applicable]

Desired Outcomes

  •  Child will be protected and free from injury.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess level of consciousnessDecrease alertness, arousal, eye-opening, or verbal response may indicating deteriorating neurological status hence a seizure will likely to happen.
Explain to the parents on different stimuli that can trigger a seizure activity.Bright flashing lights, lack of sleep, and lengthy exposure to television or computer games may precipitate a seizure activity.
Provide a safe environment for the child by wearing protective gear (helmet, kneepads) if needed.The use of helmet and kneepads may provide added protection for individuals during a seizure activity.
Assist the child in performing ADLDecreases the occurrence of injuries that can worsen the child’s condition.
Institute seizure precautions such as keeping padded side rails up with the bed in its lowest position.Decreases the incidence of fall should a seizure happen while the child is in bed.
Administer benzodiazepines (e.g., Diazepam [Valium]) as prescribed.Benzodiazepines are commonly used in treating cerebral palsy that acts as anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, and anti-anxiety drugs.
Coordinate with a physical therapist for strengthening exercises and gait training as appropriate.Proper gait training in physical therapy has been shown to prevent falls.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans related to neurological disorders:

Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.