Information for the public

Bone health

The bones of children and young people with cerebral palsy may not develop normally, for a variety of reasons. This means their bones can break easily, even from small bumps or knocks. Children who can't move around by themselves are especially likely to have weak bones. It is important for families and carers to know that special care is needed in moving your child, to reduce the risk of breaks.

The risk of breaking a bone is also higher if your child has any of the following:

If your care team think your child is not getting enough vitamin D and calcium in their diet, they may offer them a blood test to check. They might also suggest taking a supplement.

The care team should also make a care plan to help lower the chances of your child breaking a bone. Movement and exercises can help, and the care team should give you advice on this.

If your child has had broken bones before, they might be offered a specialist X‑ray (called a DEXA scan) to see how strong their bones are. They might be referred to a specialist if medicine to strengthen their bones could help.

Questions you or your child may want to ask

  • Please explain more about why my child might be at risk of breaking bones.

  • How can I protect my child from injury?

  • Are there any treatments or changes we could make that might help?

  • What does a DEXA scan involve, and what will it show?

  • Information Standard