For many developmental disabilities, there are no actions to recommend for prevention. However, some developmental disabilities can be prevented or lessened by preventing harmful exposures and detecting and treating developmental problems early.
Following are some general tips for preventing several developmental disabilities.
- Avoid workplace hazards if you are pregnant.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol if you are pregnant.
- Learn about safe fish eating recommendations for women who might become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children.
- Remove or prevent contact with household sources of lead, such as lead based paint and lead contaminated dust. More prevention tips are here.
- Make sure your child gets all the regular childhood vaccines.
- Keep your child away from high noise levels, such as very loud toys. Visit the National Institutes of Health's website to learn more about preventing noise-induced hearing loss.
Monitor Child Development
From birth throughout childhood, children are constantly learning and growing. One way to support positive development is to monitor your child's developmental milestones - how they play, learn, speak and act. A delay in any of these areas could be a sign of a developmental problem. Recognizing and treating a problem early can help a child reach his or her full potential. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you notice that your child is not reaching common milestones. Read more about developmental milestones and positive parenting tips.
National Children's Study
In the future, results from the National Children's Study, should provide some insight and guidance for developing other prevention strategies. The study will examine the effects of the environment on the growth, development and health of children across the United States.
The study will examine such factors as air, water, diet, sound, family dynamics, community and cultural influences, and genetics— on the growth, development, and health of children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21. The goal of the study is to improve the health and well-being of children and contribute to understanding the effects of various factors on health and disease.
Data from the study may inform research into many conditions such as
- behavior, learning, and mental health disorders;
- birth defects and pregnancy-related problems;
- injuries; and
Researchers will analyze how environmental factors interact with each other and what helpful and/or harmful effects they might have on the health of children and adults.
Congress authorized the National Children's Study with the Children's Health Act of 2000. The study is led by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal government partners. Study partners include the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
This symbol means you are leaving the CDC.gov Web site. For more information, please see CDC's Exit Notification and Disclaimer policy.
Copyrighted images: Images on this website which are copyrighted were used with permission of the copyright holder and are not in the public domain. CDC has licensed these images for use in the materials provided on this website, and the materials in the form presented on this website may be used without seeking further permission. Any other use of copyrighted images requires permission from the copyright holder.
Tracking Hot Topics
- September Is Infant Mortality Awareness Month
- Injury Prevention and Control, Child Passenger Safety
- Safety in the Home & Community for Infants and Toddlers
- Keep Young Children Safe from Poisoning
- A Story of Health
- Cancer Prevention Starts in Childhood
- View our Tracking Success Stories to learn how Tracking is making a difference across the U.S.