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Hydrocephalus in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a condition caused by too much cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inside the ventricles of your child's brain. Ventricles are spaces inside the brain where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced. CSF surrounds your child's brain and spinal cord. CSF is constantly being made and absorbed by your child's body. It moves through ventricles before it drains out and gets absorbed into the bloodstream. When CSF cannot drain properly, the fluid pressure may cause the ventricles to swell.


What increases my child's risk for hydrocephalus?

Your child may have been born with hydrocephalus. The following can also increase his or her risk:

What are the signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus?

How is hydrocephalus diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will examine your child's head and measure it's size. Your child may also need any of the following:

How is hydrocephalus treated?

Treatment should begin as soon as possible to prevent brain injury.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.