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Stroke in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when blood flow to part of the brain is interrupted. This can cause serious brain damage from a lack of oxygen. Brain function may be affected depending on where the stroke happens. A stroke can happen when your child is still in the womb, or at any age after birth. A stroke caused by a blood clot is called an ischemic stroke. A stroke caused by a burst or torn blood vessel is called a hemorrhagic stroke. Signs and symptoms of a stroke will depend on where in the brain it occurred. Signs and symptoms usually appear suddenly. A stroke is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment.

Ischemic Stroke
Hemorrhagic Stroke

What are the warning signs of a stroke?

The words BE FAST can help you remember and recognize warning signs of a stroke:


What are the signs and symptoms of a stroke in newborns and infants?

What are the signs and symptoms of a stroke in older children and teenagers?

Any of the following can develop at the time of a stroke, or years later:

What increases my child's risk for a stroke?

How is a stroke diagnosed?

Tell your child's healthcare provider about your child's medical conditions. Also tell the provider about any family history of a medical condition, such as a bleeding or clotting disorder, or diabetes. Your child may need any of the following:

How is a stroke treated?

Treatment depends on your child's age and the type of stroke he or she had. Treatment will also depend on what has caused the stroke. Any condition that may have caused the stroke will be treated. Your child may need extra oxygen or liquids. He or she may also be given vitamin K to help with blood clotting. Your child may also need any of the following:

What can I do to care for my child after a stroke?

How can I help prevent a stroke in my child?

Help your child create healthy habits to continue as an adult. This can help prevent risk factors that may lead to a stroke. After a stroke, your child is at increased risk for another stroke. It is important to help your child lower his or her risk as much as possible. Your child's healthcare provider can tell you more about the following:

Where can I find support and more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

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.