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5 Bumps

Did you know small children can have a stroke?

Thanksgiving weekend my 20 month old DS had gone upstairs to play by himself while we said goodbye to the grandparents. DS was upstairs playing 5-10 minutes. My DH and other 2 children were already back in the house when I came back inside. I called to my DS and he started crying like there was something wrong. I ran upstairs to find him laying in the middle of his floor, belly-down with his head turned to the right. I thought he had fallen asleep and I had woken him up. I picked him up and layed him in his crib and could tell right away something was wrong. He couldn't move his left arm at all. My DH took off his shirt thinking maybe he had hurt his arm or dislocated it. Nothing. While I was on the phone with 911 my DH set our DS on the floor and he immediately fell to the left. So we knew his left leg was affected as well.
When the paramedics arrived I told them he has a left-side facial droop as well. I said, it looks like he's had a stroke! Paramedics took him to the hospital and the doctors initially thought he'd had a seizure.

CAT scan revealed nothing. MRI revealed a stroke. The doctors said he'd had a stroke that was deep in his brain on the right side. It wasn't due to trauma or anything like that. They did a lot of tests including blood tests and an ultrasound of his heart. They never were able to give us a definitive answer but simply said they believed that the vein where it happened collapsed and had healed itself.

Our DS spent a week in the PICU and pediatric ward and then another week in the Neuro Rehab Unit. He's still not 100% and is getting in-home PT and OT therapies. He's doing great though! He has hyper-sensitivity to that side and we won't know for sure how that will affect him until he gets older.

When we tell people everyone says they've never heard of anyone so young of having a stroke and neither had DH or I! Just wanted others to know that it can happen and what to look for:
-limp arm and leg (all on one side)
-facial droop (corner of one side of the mouth droops downward)
-not acting like themselves
If your child has any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately!!! Don't try to take them to the hospital yourself! All experts agree that with a stroke, time is everything. A delay in treatment can be very bad.
This isn't to make anyone fearful at all. I just would like to help arm other moms out there with knowledge.

Answer Question

Asked by luckymomof_3 at 5:19 PM on Jan. 25, 2011 in Kids' Health

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • That is so scary! Thank you for the information. I hadn't heard of any child having a stroke either. I am glad your son is recovering.

    Answer by Snewo at 5:23 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • That is terrifying. I havent heard of a stroke happening for no reason at all.... I had a couple strokes when I was about 3 or a little before- but those were due to the menenjitis (men an gy tus). I heard that is going around again.

    Answer by MamaWolf1981 at 5:32 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • I am so sorry that you and he had to go through all of that. Glad to hear that your ds is doing well.

    I did know that young kids can have strokes. A son of someone on another board with me has been having strokes. He's also being treated for another brain issue called Chiari I (which my youngest has in addition to epilepsy, so when it comes to his brain I am hyper-vigilant.) So scary.

    Thank you for the information. It is important for everyone to know in general.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 5:32 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • Yep, I know a couple of kids of different ages who've had them. It's crazy the things that can happen. Kids can have heart attacks too - my 11 yo DD has been at risk of having one all her life.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:58 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • I know of quite a few babies, days or months old, that have had strokes. Usually it's happened because they were on a life support system called ECMO and a blood thinner. The combination can have some pretty serious effects on the brain.

    Answer by Bubbles318 at 1:30 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • So glad your DS is doing well after his stroke and it's good that you are trying to get the word out, because there are many who think strokes are an "old person's" disease, but it's more common in young children than you would think; even a baby still in the womb can have a stroke.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 11:11 AM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • I am thankful for this information, it would not be something I would have looked for if I child was not feeling well. How is your DS doing since the stroke?

    Answer by Aries46845 at 9:53 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • Unfortunatley I've worked with some kids that have had them and the outcome wasn't great. I'm sorry this happened to you. I hope all goes well and he recovers fully.

    Answer by mkula at 5:18 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • hugsThanks for the info. I hope he continues to overcome this.


    Answer by SweetOrangeMama at 5:23 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

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