Stroke prevails among children

Even as stroke is perceived as an illness of the elderly, especially those with lifestyle diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disorders, more children are now diagnosed with the condition.

But the problem is not diagnosed at an early stage, as most parents don’t pay attention to the symptoms until its too late.

“From blood disorders to juvenile diabetes, and even prolonged diarrhoea, there are several causes for stroke in children.

If diagnosed and treated soon, we can ensure that these kids at least have a near-normal life,” says Dr Murugan consultant pediatric neurologist, Fortis Malar Hospitals.

He points out that almost 50 per cent of the stroke cases occur in newborns within a month of their birth and the main reason is dehydration.

“ Twenty-five per cent of the cases relate to kids less than an year old and this could be due to feeding issues or infections. In slightly older children heart problems cause stroke,” the doctor said.

These children suffer from stroke, which is a result of a block in the artery leading to the brain, or bleeding in the brain itself.

A senior doctor from the Institute of Child Health laments that most of the patients come in the advanced stages when there is already some neurological damage.

“Parents do not realize there is a problem with their child until the kid slips into a coma or has seizures. Usually there would be warning signals before the kid gets a stroke,” he said.

The doctor stressed that parents should take notice when their child suddenly stops using one side of the body, drools from the mouth, or even complains of severe migraine or lack of sleep.

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