Would you recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke in a baby, child or teen? Most people don’t know that strokes can happen in children, so they aren’t thinking stroke when they see signs such as sudden loss of movement on one side, or one side of the child’s face drooping, or a sudden, severe headache in a teen. Recent studies have found that there can be a delay in parents seeking medical help, as well as a delay among frontline providers and delays in accessing MRI, often related to the need for sedation or anesthesia. Delays were found to be greater in evenings and weekends.
In honor of World Stroke Day 2019, the International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke created Think Stroke…At Any Age campaign to help increase the awareness of strokes in the pediatric population.
Warning Signs of Stroke:
B alance – Sudden severe dizziness or loss of coordination, difficulty walking
E yes – Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes or double vision
F ace – One side of the face drooping or numb. Uneven or lopsided smile
A rm — One arm weak, numb or tingling
S peech – Slurred speech, unable to speak or hard to understand
T ime to call emergency services and get to a hospital
For children and teens, a sudden, severe headache can also be a sign of stroke. An alternative to T ime is T errible Headache
If you see anyone with these signs and symptoms, no matter what age, call the emergency system in your country immediately. Just as in adults, time lost is brain lost in children.
For strokes that happen at or around the time of birth, it is also important to get an early diagnosis. Those symptoms may present as seizures in a newborn. As the child develops decreased movement on one side of the body or showing a hand preference before one year of age may indicate the need for assessment by a neurologist.
The outcome for children can be improved if we can increase the knowledge for recognizing strokes not only in the general population but also frontline emergency providers (pediatricians, emergency physicians, emergency technicians), nurses, school staff, and anyone caring for children.
Use our Resource page to find fact sheets, a video, a poignant article about what happens when a stroke diagnosis is delayed and much more.
Read real-life Stories from around the world of what a stroke looks like in babies, children, and teens.
Share your child’s story on our interactive World Map to show how many children are impacted worldwide.
Choose how you want to be a part of the Think Stroke…At Any Age campaign and make a difference for all children who suffer strokes. Thank you!!