You may think that only old people can have strokes. However, children can also get this medical emergency. Because it is a serious condition, a full understanding of stroke care and recovery can give your children precious chances to escape grave peril.
How can you know if your child is having a stroke?
Stroke in children can start instantaneously. Therefore, always pay attention to your little kids. Symptoms of stroke in children may include:
- Sudden drowsiness
- Sudden vision problems such as blurred vision, double vision, or loss of vision
- Sudden trouble speaking such as slurred speech
- Sudden difficulty keeping balance or trouble walking
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
If you are worried that your child has a stroke, ask yourself some questions to check if your child has the symptoms above. If your child has heart disease, problems with blood vessels, or sickle cell disease, your child is more likely to have a stroke.
Stroke treatments for children
If you notice that your child experiences symptoms that are related to a stroke, contact with a pediatrician or a neurologist as soon as possible to give your child immediate treatment and lower the risk of serious complications. Remember this, every second counts.
Stroke care for children may include:
- Medications: the doctor may give your child aspirin or other medications that help thin blood and make it less likely to clot, and special vitamins. If your child has sickle cell disease, he or she may receive hydroxyurea, transfusion therapy. Certain medications that are used for adults may not be approved for children.
- Interventional neuroradiology: if the blood vessels that feed your child’s brain are abnormal or if he or she has some blood vessels with weakened walls that can break, this treatment can be applied. The doctor may insert a catheter into the affected blood vessels to improve blood flow.
- Surgical treatment: surgery to the brain may be recommended in some cases or when blood builds up in blood vessels and put pressure in the brain.
Stroke recovery for children in hospital
Recovery after and immediate care after stroke are important. Once your child is fine, you will work with the health care team to design a proper plan to help your child recover. The health care team usually includes doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dietitians, language therapists, and psychologists.
Your child may encounter difficulties with speaking, seeing, language, walking, or keeping balance. The stroke may also affect your child’s mental health. The ongoing program will depend on the problems caused by stroke.
Children’s ability to recover from strokes can be better than adults. Proper diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation program can help minimize the risk of serious complications.
Strokes in children are different from strokes often seen in adults. They may need specific care and recovery to return to normal life after stroke. Always call the emergency department if you think your child is having a stroke.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 26, 2017 | Last Modified: May 26, 2017
Pediatric Stroke. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/nervous_system_disorders/pediatric_stroke_22,PediatricStroke/. Accessed April 30, 2017.
A family guide to pediatric stroke. http://www.heartandstroke.ca/-/media/pdf-files/canada/other/a-family-guide-to-pediatric-stroke-eng.ashx. Accessed April 30, 2017.
Stroke can occur in children. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/stroke-can-occur-in-children. Accessed April 30, 2017.