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Cerebral Palsy: Bathing and Grooming Tips

Topic Overview

General tips

Self-grooming is often difficult for people with cerebral palsy. The following suggestions may help your child learn to accomplish these everyday tasks:

  • Give your child time to practice. Grooming skills can be learned through repetition, as well as practicing in other ways. For example, buy a doll with long, easy-to-comb hair to help your child practice combing.
  • Offer help as your child needs it. Don't help too much or too soon in the activity. Ask your child to let you know when he or she needs help.
  • Talk with an occupational therapist about ways to help your child learn to groom himself or herself.

Special considerations

Some people with cerebral palsy are not able to groom themselves. Those who have both hands and arms affected will need help performing most routine grooming tasks.

Stay with a person who has a form of cerebral palsy with movement control problems while he or she bathes. Leaving him or her alone, even for a short time, can be dangerous.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Last Revised September 20, 2012

Last Revised: September 20, 2012

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