|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.
Transient ischemic attack
- 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
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
- Our Neurosurgical Stroke Program provides exceptional care for children of all ages with strokes or related conditions that call for neurosurgical treatment.