Childhood stroke


HCA UK offers urgent treatment for a child who has had a stroke and a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation programme to help recovery

Enquiries & Appointments

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Can a child have a stroke?

A stroke can occur in children as young as 29-days-old. As with adults, a childhood stroke will either be caused by a blockage in the blood supply to the brain (ischaemic) or when the blood leaks from a burst blood vessel to the brain (haemorrhagic).

Strokes in children are often caused by existing conditions such as congenital heart disease or sickle cell. In babies, they may be caused when blood clots from the placenta lodge in the brain.

Need to know

Signs of a ischaemic stroke include:

  • sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • facial drooping
  • speech problems
  • headaches

Signs of haemorrhagic stroke include:

  • vomiting
  • seizures
  • occasional headaches

If your child displays these symptoms, it's a medical emergency. Dial 999 immediately. It can be harder to spot symptoms when the stroke happened before or around birth, but there may be delayed development or trouble moving one side of the body.

A consultant paediatric neurologist will examine your child immediately. They will most likely send your child for an MRI or CT scan to confirm they've had a stroke.  At HCA UK we have radiolographers who are experience with scanning children and will talk you through the process. Both scans display the affected area of the brain, as well as the blood vessels. This should take around an hour.

If your child's stroke has been caused by a blood clot (ischaemic), they may be given blood-thinning medicine to prevent a stroke from happening again.

When your child is well enough, a team of neurorehabilitation specialists will help your child adapt to the lasting effects of a stroke. These specialists include:

  • a paediatric physiotherapist to help with movement
  • an occupational therapist specialising in children's therapy to help manage day-to-day tasks
  • a paediatric speech and language therapist to help with improving speech
  • a psychologist to help your child deal with the psychological effects of the stroke and improve cognitive skills.

Our dedicated multidisciplinary team will help your child for as long as they are needed.

Our locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.