Childhood stroke

We're creating new resources to support survivors of childhood stroke, their families, carers and friends. Find out more about Childhood Stroke Project

What is childhood stroke?

A stroke is when blood can’t get to all parts of the brain.

Blood carries oxygen and nutrients for the brain cells. If the blood supply stops, the brain cells start dying and the affected part of the brain can be injured.

Stroke can happen at any age.


How does stroke affect children?

The effects are different for every child.

A child’s brain controls everything they think, feel, say and do. How stroke affects them depends on the area of their brain that was injured and how badly.

Recovery is usually most rapid in the weeks and months after their stroke, but recovery can continue for years. Starting rehabilitation early increases a child’s chances of a good recovery.

“At the end of the day, your child is going to amaze you. It doesn’t matter what level they’re at, they’re going to amaze you. They’re incredible.”
Kylie Facer, Little Stroke Warriors


Stroke signs in babies and children

If you notice any of these signs, call triple zero (000) immediately.


  • Seizures 
  • Extreme sleepiness 

Toddlers, children and teenagers:

  • Weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side. 
  • Difficulty talking, understanding, reading or writing. 
  • Trouble seeing or loss of vision. 
  • Dizziness, loss of balance or poor coordination. 
  • Severe or unusual headaches, nausea or vomiting. 
  • Difficulty swallowing, including drooling. 
  • Seizures with weakness that doesn’t improve. 
  • Changes in behaviour and difficulty concentrating. 
  • Stroke can sometimes cause children to collapse. 


Remember, even if you aren’t sure it’s a stroke, call triple zero (000).


More information and support

Our Family’s Stroke Journey

Our Family’s Stroke Journey answers these questions:

  • What is a stroke?
  • How can stroke affect my child?
  • What treatment and care will my child receive?
  • What do I need to know about life after my child’s stroke?
  • What help is available?

Download Our Family's Stroke Journey


If you would like a printed copy of Our Family’s Stroke Journey, please contact StrokeLine