Childhood stroke

It's a myth that only older people have strokes. The exact rate of children stroke is unknown but every year somewhere between three to thirteen children in every 100,000 will have a stroke.

Strokes can occur in all age groups, from newborns to older teenagers. Sometimes strokes occur in babies before they are born. An estimated one newborn in every 2,300 to 5,000 will a stroke.

All strokes, regardless of age, are a result of disruption of blood going to or from the brain, resulting in brain cells in the area dying and permanent damage potentially occurring. The reason for this disruption may be different for children and adults. A number of medical conditions can increase the chance of childhood stroke.

The effects of stroke are different for every child and will depend on where in the brain the stroke happens, the size of the stroke, your child’s general health and how quickly they received medical treatment. After a stroke, your child may experience difficulties with walking, crawling, standing or running or using an arm. They may ignore one side of the body. They may have difficulties balancing or coordinating movements. Other difficulties can include thinking, communicating, swallowing, sensation and vision. Your child may have trouble with toileting, appetite, fatigue and with their emotions.

Recovery depends on the type of stroke, the part of the brain affected, how old your child is, and any other medical conditions your child has. Early rehabilitation will improve your child’s chances of a good recovery.

The risk of further strokes will depend on the underlying cause of your child’s stroke and type of stroke. Research indicates somewhere between 20 to 40 percent of children have recurrent strokes.  Little is known about the prevention of a second stroke in children, however there are various treatments available to try to reduce the chances of a further stroke. Recommendations will be made by your doctor according to your child’s individual needs. 

Kids can have strokes too.

Kids can have a stroke at any age.

Strokes in kids are the same as adults.

They happen when blood can’t get to parts of the brain.

The reasons kids have strokes can be different from adults.

Some medical conditions can cause strokes in kids.

Sometimes a child will have more than one stroke.

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