Stroke is a serious condition that affects more than just adults. Hundreds of children, including unborn babies, newborns, children and teenagers, experience strokes every year.
Strokes may become evident in babies just after birth if they experience seizures (uncontrolled movements and rhythmic jerking) or apnea (when breathing stops temporarily).
Potential signs of a stroke in children 4 to 8 months old include:
- The baby favors one hand over the other, leaves one hand in a fist or doesn’t use both hands together during play
- The baby is delayed in movement, development or learning (rolling, pulling to stand up or walking)
- The baby is unwilling to bear weight on one leg, points his or her toes on that foot or walks on tiptoe
In these cases, diagnosis by a pediatric neurologist, confirmation with ultrasound and MRI, and early intervention will make a difference in the recovery process.
Generally, children at higher risk for pediatric stroke include:
- Newborns, especially full-term infants
- Older children with sickle cell anemia, congenital heart defects, immune disorders or problems with blood clotting
- Otherwise healthy children who have hidden disorders such as narrow blood vessels or tendency to form blood clots easily
Meet Our Ambassador
Elijah, with the help of his mother, Jennifer, is raising awareness about pediatric stroke through the Traveling Awareness Bears.
Watch Elijah’s video and hear his message about pediatric stroke.