Spina Bifida Awareness Month: What You Need to Know About This Birth Defect

This October, Educate Yourself about this Disorder

Did you know that birth defects affect one in every 33 babies born in the United States each year? That’s about 3% of all babies born in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), birth defects are the leading cause of infant deaths, accounting for 20% of all infant deaths.

One of the brain and spine defects that affect babies is spina bifida. It’s a disorder that affects 1 in every 2,758 births, according to the CDC.

This birth defect gets the spotlight this October when we observe Spina Bifida Awareness Month. At this time, Kids Car Donations encourages everyone to educate themselves about this condition even as various organizations move to raise public awareness about the reality of spina bifida and how it affects the lives of those who have it.


What Is Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is a birth defect that happens when the baby’s spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. It’s one type of defect of the neural tube, which is the structure in a developing embryo that eventually becomes the baby’s brain, spinal cord, and the tissues that enclose them. The defect usually happens during the early stages of pregnancy, usually on the 3rd up to 4th week, when the spine of the baby fails to close. As a result, the babies are born with part of their spine protruding or exposed on their backs.

Babies born with spina bifida may or may not suffer from a life-long disability. Some of them experience mild symptoms while others may experience serious health issues that include weakness, incontinence, or even paralysis. Children with an exposed spine may need to undergo surgery to close it.


What Causes Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is associated with low folic acid levels during pregnancy. Folic acid is extremely important during pregnancy as it helps with the tissue formation and growth and development of the fetus.

A high fever during early pregnancy also increases the chances of a mother giving birth to a child with spina bifida. The same is true for epileptic women and those who have taken the drug valproic acid (a drug to control seizures) while they were pregnant.

Researchers believe that the defect could be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. However, 95% of babies born with spina bifida don’t have a family history of the disorder,

What Are the Types of Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida comes in two types — occulta and aperta. Let’s take a closer look at each of them here:

  • Occulta

Spina bifida occulta is often called hidden spina bifida or the milder form of the disease. In this condition, the spinal cords and nerves look normal on the surface and there is no opening. Spina bifida occulta is associated with short gaps on the vertebra. It often goes undetected until an x-ray is done on the person.

  • Aperta

Spina bifida aperta is divided into two types: Meningocele and myelomeningocele. Meningocele is the rarest type and happens when the meninges push through the skull or the vertebra leading to the formation of a fluid-filled sac. Myelomeningocele, the most severe and common form of spina bifida, happens when a portion of the spine protrudes through the back, sometimes exposing the nerves and tissues.


Reach Out to Suffering Children

Spina bifida is just one of numerous disorders and diseases that make life most challenging to millions of children in the United States.

If you want to reach out to these suffering kids, all you have to do is to donate any vehicle you no longer need to us at Kids Car Donations. We’ll have your gift auctioned off, with the proceeds going to our child-focused charity partners. These IRS-certified 501(c)3 nonprofits will use the funding to make sure that more of their young beneficiaries will be able to receive comprehensive and quality medical assistance, including free and easy access to vital health services, emotional support, and other essential health care services.

It’s easy to become a Kids Car Donations donor, and it’s also very rewarding. All you have to do is to contact us. We’ll provide you with our free towing service wherever you are in the country. Your donation will also qualify you to receive a maximized tax deduction in the next tax season.

We accept most vehicle types, including those that are no longer in good running condition.

For information on our vehicle donation process, head over to our FAQs page. If you have questions or concerns, give us a call at 866-634-8395 or leave us a message online. We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.


Those Ailing Kids Need Your Help Today!

Toy Wheelchair | Kids Car Donations
Photo by National Cancer Institute under Unsplash License

The sick and disabled kids in your community need all the help that they can get, and you can easily provide it. Don’t let them down. Make a difference in their lives with your car donation. Call Kids Car Donations at 866-634-8395 or fill out our online donation form today!