Norton Children’s board-certified and fellowship-trained neurologists and neurosurgeons are the leading providers of stroke care in children from Louisville, Kentucky, and Southern Indiana.
Norton Children’s Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital for the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Our physicians are training the next generation of pediatric specialists.
Our specialists will determine the cause of your child’s stroke and create a treatment plan that minimizes risk so your child can get back to being a kid again.
What Is a Stroke?
A stroke is a medical emergency in which blood flow to the brain is blocked or there is bleeding on the brain. Without blood flow, oxygen cannot get to the brain tissue, and it begins to die.
Strokes can affect a person at any age, but are much more common in older adults.
If you think your child may be having a stroke, call 911 immediately.
Stroke Symptoms in Babies
Symptoms of stroke in a baby may be subtle. The baby may develop low muscle tone or floppiness, lethargy or sleepiness, seizures or pauses in breathing.
A stroke in a baby may go unrecognized for hours or days. Symptoms that might appear during this time include seizures, weakness on one side of the body, developmental delays or abnormal muscle tone.
Stroke Symptoms in Children
In children, stroke symptoms may include weakness or numbness in part of the body, such as the face, arm or leg; difficulty speaking or understanding someone else speaking to them; loss of vision or double vision; balance issues; or sudden onset of a severe headache.
Stroke Risk Factors
Babies, young children, teens and adults have different risk factors for stroke.
The following may increase risk for stroke in babies:
- Abnormalities of the placenta
- Infection and delivery complications
- Complications during the perinatal period (the time just before birth and one to four weeks after)
In children, the risks include:
- Abnormal blood vessels (arteriovenous malformations, cavernous malformations, aneurysms, moyamoya, etc.)
- Blood conditions (sickle cell, thrombophilia or easy clotting, hemophilia)
- Congenital heart disease
- Head or neck trauma
- Use of certain medications (for example, chemotherapies or oral contraceptives)
Getting your child to the emergency department as soon as possible is critical so our team can administer specific medication that can treat certain forms of stroke.
Care after a stroke usually happens in an intensive care unit, where our team will closely monitor the child and make additional evaluations.