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Kids and Stroke

FACT:Children and infants have strokes, too.

The incidence of stroke in children under 15 years old is about six cases in every 100,000 per year. Strokes are slightly more common in children under age 2. The incidence of stroke in children has remained stable for the past 10 years, but stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders are among the top 10 causes of death in children in the U.S.

Strokes in children are increasing at an alarming rate – up 50% among young boys over 12 years.

Common risk factors for stroke in children include:

  • Diseases of the arteries
  • Cardiac disorders
  • Infection
  • Acute or chronic head and neck disorders
  • Abnormal blood clotting
  • Sickle-cell disease

Other symptoms that may indicate pediatric stroke are:

  • Seizures, especially in newborns
  • Worsening or sudden headaches
  • Sudden difficulty speaking, slurring of words or trouble understanding speech
  • Hemiparesis, or a weakness on one side of the body
  • Sudden loss of vision or abnormal eye movements
  • Sudden loss of balance or trouble walking

It is important to recognize stroke symptoms and act quickly by calling 9-1-1

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