a therapist helps a toddler use a walker
Brain Injury Counselling, Stroke Information

Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month

A stroke can happen at any age. Even in young children and teenagers.

At Life After Stroke, we have built a community of young stroke survivors. In the month of May, we would like to raise awareness on stroke in a pediatric population.

Current rates for stroke in children are 1 in 2,500 among newborns, defined as age 0 to 28 days, and 2-5/100,000 among children aged 28 days to 18 years.

A stroke can occur in a child due to many reasons. Modifiable stroke risk factors for adults such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure may not typically be the culprit of a stroke in children. In children, congenital and genetic issues such as congenital heart problems or clotting disorders, should be considered for possible causes of stroke.

Some warning signs of a stroke in children, teenagers, and young adults include:

  • Weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg (usually on one side of the body)
  • Speech difficulty
  • Changes to vision

Some warning signs of a stroke in babies are more subtle and can include:

  • Having trouble staying awake during the day
  • Prefer to use one side of their body in the first year of life
  • New onset of seizure

With regards to long-term outcomes of pediatric stroke, children must be monitored for many years following a stroke since the full impact of a stroke may not be known until a child reaches various developmental stages. During adolescent years and adulthood, rehabilitation for stroke survivors remains important.

Life After Stroke provides support groups and vocational rehabilitation services for stroke survivors, including survivors of pediatric stroke. Find out how to become a member.