Conditions + Treatments

Stroke in children

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Contact the Cerebrovascular Disorders And Stroke Program

Is my child having a stroke?

If you see any of these symptoms in your child, don’t wait—go directly to an emergency room.
  • weakness on one side of the body
  • difficulty speaking
  • difficulty walking or instability when standing
  • vision loss
  • first-time seizure
  • a change in mental state
Transient ischemic attack

Short episodes of weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or a “room spinning” sensation may mean your child is having a transient ischemic attack (TIA), a possible warning sign of stroke that requires immediate evaluation in an emergency room.

A stroke is a general term used to describe an injury to the brain caused by either bleeding (referred to as hemorrhagic) or a lack of oxygen (referred to as ischemic).

  • A stroke usually implies some type of permanent injury to the brain
  • The term infarct or infarction may also refer to a stroke

Here at Boston Children's Hospital, our Department of Neurosurgery works with many other health care teams throughout the hospital in a multidisciplinary effort dedicated to the treatment of children with strokes.

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches pediatric stroke

Our physicians are committed to a rigorous understanding of which practices constitute the very best standard of care for your child. Strokes and related disorders can have broad-reaching effects.  At Children's, we aim to understand and treat all elements of a child's condition.

  • Our Cerebrovascular Disorders and Stroke (CVD and Stroke) Program provides:
    • fast, comprehensive evaluations to quickly identify if a stroke has occurred and why
    • combined expertise in child neurology, pediatric neurosurgery, hematology, neurointerventional radiology, pediatric neuroradiology, emergency medicine, child psychiatry, physical and occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy, in one specialized program
    • access to therapies administered in the earliest stages of stroke that are designed to remove blockages of brain blood vessels
    • direct referral to physical therapists, occupational therapists, or speech and language therapists to help children address and improve any affected functions
    • long-term multidisciplinary care to prevent additional strokes 
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944