What Happens if a Baby Has a Stroke; All you should know about

What Happens if a Baby Has a Stroke; All you should know about

People usually think that strokes are a problem of old age, but it is not true. Newborn babies also have a higher risk of strokes as the elders have. However, strokes usually remain unrecognized and untreated at this fragile age. In this post, we will discuss the strokes to answer your questions like what is a stroke and what happens if a baby has a stroke.

What is a stroke

First of all, we should be familiar with what a stroke means. Actually, stroke is a sudden stoppage and decreases in the blood flow in the brain. It is severe enough and causes damage to the brain. There are two types of strokes which are as follow

  • Ischemic stroke( it happens when the blood flow stops in the brain due to the formation of a blood clot and thrombus in one of the blood vessels in the brain.)
  • Hemorrhagic( this type of stroke usually happens when the blood vessels near the brain rupture and cause bleeding in the brain).

How common the strokes are

The stroke risk is very high in the infants as compared to the childhood and infancy. Ischemic strokes and Hemorrhagic occur in one of the 4000 newborns. As the baby passes through the newborn stage, the risk of strokes decreases significantly and remains low until old age.

Causes of strokes

Ischemic strokes are common in babies the causes are as follow

  • Lack of oxygen during birth
  • Heart defect
  • Blood disorder which causes the blood to form clots in the veins and arteries

Some problems may be related to the pregnancy which then causes strokes in the baby these are 

  • Drug abuse
  • Placenta decreases the supply of oxygen to the baby
  • Premature rupture of the membrane

 Hemorrhagic strokes are due to head injury or disease, which affect blood clotting such as hemophilia.

Symptoms of strokes

Finding the cause of stroke in a baby is difficult because they do not show any clinical symptoms. Some newborns who show symptoms the vast majority have seizures. It is the most recognizable sign at this age. The symptoms some times are more difficult to stop in the newborns, and they include the following

  • Repetitive facial movement including chewing and suckling
  • Unusual bicycle and paddling movement
  • Tightening of muscles
  • Pauses in breathing due to slow heart rate

Handedness is also a symptom of stroke in newborn babies which suddenly appear up around six weeks to six months. These babies favor their left or right hand and reach out more with that hand. Parents mistakenly consider it as a sign towards the advanced age but actually is the symptom of stroke. In healthy children, handedness does not appear at 12 months.

What happens if a baby has a stroke.

Babies who have stroke problem lead to a number of issues some of which can be lasting such as

  • Vision problems
  • Paralysis or one side weakness
  • Cognitive or learning problem
  • Physiological problem


  • Cerebral palsy

If your children have a stroke problem, consult with your doctor. The whole medical staff is there to help you do not hesitate to ask any question.