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Stroke in Children

What is Stroke in Children?

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is stopped or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, filling the cavity with blood. When stroke occurs in children, it is often a result of some other underlying illness, such as a cardiac, blood or rare genetic disorders. The effects on the child depend on what part of the brain was affected by the stroke.


  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body) 
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech 
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes 
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination 
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause 


Doctors will need to perform several tests in order to diagnose the exact cause of the stroke and to tailor a treatment plan based on that diagnosis. They will likely want to perform brain scans, blood tests,

How to Treat Stroke in Children?

Immediate action is crucial.  If a child is suspected of having a stroke, parents should seek urgent medical attention.

After evaluating the severity of the stroke, doctors will determine the appropriate treatment, which could include medications and physical rehabilitation.

At Hopkins Children’s, the Divisions of Neurology and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry treat stroke in children.


External Links:

Pediatric Stroke Network 

American Stroke Association 

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 

National Institutes of Health