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Putting prevention into practice for the benefit of children and young people with cerebral palsy
  1. Kate Himmelmann
  1. Department of Pediatrics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kate Himmelmann, Regional Rehabilitation Cente, Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital, Gothenburg SE 418 04, Sweden; kate.himmelmann{at}

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Respiratory problems are the most common causes of premature death in children and young people with cerebral palsy (CP).1 However, the different causes hampering respiratory function are under-researched in people with CP. There is also a paucity of studies guiding management of lung disease in this group.2 Multidisciplinary evaluations, considering several risk factors, are imperative to prevent secondary complications in children and young people with CP.

Emerging data suggest that underlying factors leading to respiratory deterioration can be prevented. Hospitalisations for respiratory causes were associated with weekly respiratory symptoms, symptoms during meals, gastro-oesophageal reflux, choking on saliva, asthma, scoliosis, young age and seizures in a cross-sectional study by Blackmore et al.3 The self-reports or caregiver reports also revealed that in children with less functional Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels, the need for modified food texture or tube feeding, gastro-oesophageal reflux, and choking on …

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