Not only in adults, stroke can also occur in children and infants. Stroke in children is a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention. Therefore, parents need to know the cause and recognize the symptoms.
Although rare, stroke is one of the 10 main causes of death in children. If not immediately get help, children who have a stroke are not only at high risk of dying, but also long-term health problems and disabilities.
Causes of Stroke in Children
Stroke in children can be categorized into two types, namely ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow in the brain is obstructed due to a blockage in a child’s brain blood vessels. While hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding or rupture of cerebral blood vessels.
Ischemic stroke in children can be caused by:
- Heart disorders, such as heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) and congenital heart disease.
- Genetic disorders.
- Severe infections, such as meningitis and sepsis.
- Blood disorders that make blood clot easily.
- Acid-base blood disorders, such as acidosis and alkalosis.
In addition, strokes in children are also more at risk of children born to mothers who have health problems during pregnancy, such as lack of oxygen during labor, premature rupture of membranes, to preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
While hemogaric stroke in children can be caused by:
- Severe head injury that causes rupture of the blood vessels of the brain.
- Abnormalities in brain blood vessels, such as venous arterial malformations.
- Suffer from blood clotting disorders, such as hemophilia.
- Blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease.
Stroke Symptoms in Children
Symptoms of stroke in children can be distinguished based on the age of the child, namely:
This condition is a stroke that occurs in the age range as long as the child is still in the mother’s womb until when the child is one month old. This is the most common type of stroke in children. Symptoms include:
- Repeated seizures.
- Hard to breathe.
- Do not want to suckle.
- Rarely moving or only one part of the body moving.
Called a child stroke if a stroke occurs in children aged one month to 18 years. Strokes in children of this age can show the following signs and symptoms:
- The face looks asymmetrical or difficult to move.
- Lung limbs and arms.
- Difficult to speak or slurred.
- Difficult to understand the words of others.
- Severe headaches that appear suddenly and are followed by vomiting and drowsiness.
- One side of the body is weak or paralyzed.
- One or both eyes cannot see or experience vision problems, such as blurred vision and double vision.
- Sudden difficulty in walking or loss of balance.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Memory loss.
- Mood or behavior changes suddenly.
- Growth barriers.
If your child experiences various symptoms of stroke in the child above, immediately take it to the nearest emergency department to get help as soon as possible. After being in the hospital, a child who has had a stroke may need intensive care in a PICU or ICU for children. The faster the stroke in children is treated, the risk of worsening conditions and fatal complications can be reduced.
Conversely, if this condition does not immediately get treatment from a doctor, then the risk of children experiencing disabilities, such as paralysis or weakness of limbs, difficulty speaking, blindness, hearing loss, and learning disorders, will be even higher.
After getting treatment and treatment at the hospital, children also need to undergo further treatment, such as physiotherapy and speech therapy, if speech is impaired or there are certain body parts that are difficult to move. Children who have a stroke also need to evaluate their growth and development to see if there are problems with the process of growth and development.
Because it can have harmful effects on the health and development of children in the future, strokes in children need to be treated immediately by pediatricians and neurologists.