Posted on 1/25/2016
When most people think of stroke, they imagine older patients, but it is
possible to have a stroke at any age, even during infancy. Pediatric stroke
occurs in about 11 in 100,000 children annually, and many of these children
are under the age of 2. This condition is among the top ten causes of
death in children, so it is important to recognize the risks and signs to ensure
proper care when pediatric stroke occurs.
Pediatric stroke risk factors
In adults, the risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure and
hardening of the arteries, but these conditions are not often seen in
children. With pediatric stroke, risk factors are related to existing
conditions such as head or neck trauma, preeclampsia during pregnancy,
arterial diseases, congenital heart defects, and immune disorders.
Signs and symptoms
Common symptoms of stroke like drooping of the face or extremities on one side of the body, slurred
speech, and confusion may be seen in children who are suffering from stroke,
but these symptoms may not be as apparent in infants who are unable to
communicate. Other signs that may be clearer include seizures, excessive
sleepiness, and favoring one side of the body. In older kids and teens,
stroke may cause severe headaches, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of coordination.
Recovery from pediatric stroke
Because children’s brains are still developing, stroke tends to have
less of a lifelong impact on pediatric patients. Even still, it is important
to seek immediate care when you suspect a stroke in your child or infant,
since emergency care for stroke can have a strong impact on long-term
At Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, you will find a dedicated
pediatric ER where your child will have the care he or she needs in the
fact of any emergency. Our campus also features a
neonatal intensive care unit and a wide range of pediatric care sub-specialists to provide the right
care for the youngest members of your family. To learn more about our
hospital or check current ER wait times, call us at (702) 233-5437.