Childhood Stroke Awareness Day – May 6, 2023

Childhood Stroke Awareness Day, or Pediatric Stroke Awareness Day, is observed annually on the first Saturday of May, which is May 6 this year, to bring awareness to the national crisis of pediatric strokes, a seemingly rare yet critical issue that often flies under the radar for millions of people. The day, since its creation in 2002, sheds light on the strokes and heart attacks occurring in children. Right from infancy, thousands of kids are at risk of a stroke, yet parents and guardians are not equipped with ways to tackle the sudden occurrence of one. Through the observation, information about the timely detection of symptoms and urgent care instructions are distributed to the public.

History of Childhood Stroke Awareness Day

Did you know that strokes rank among the top 10 causes of pediatric deaths in the U.S.? Survivors of a stroke often suffer long-term neurological disabilities, such as paralysis, vision and speech problems, and intermittent seizures. Children aren’t considered to be at risk of strokes/heart attacks. It’s long been believed that strokes only occur in the elderly. But it can affect any age group, starting as early as infancy. Twenty-six of every 100,000 children and six out of every 100,000 newborns suffer from a stroke each year, of which 12% are fatal. This statistic underscores the importance of dedicating a day to the cause. It is a medical emergency that can cause permanent damage to survivors.

A stroke, an abrupt neurologic injury, is caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain due to clotting or the bursting of an artery. Stroke patients can suffer irreversible neurological damage, including the impairment of mobility, altered behavior, hindrance in academic performance, and even death.

Childhood Stroke Awareness Day brings much-needed awareness to this issue. The holiday is the initiative of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which created the first-ever program dedicated to pediatric stroke patients in 2002. The hospital continues to raise awareness about the preventive measures, symptoms, and timely treatment of strokes in children. Following in the footsteps of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution in 2007 to designate the first Saturday of May as National Childhood Stroke Awareness Day.

Childhood Stroke Awareness Day timeline

1996
The Initial Recognition

Guardians of children with hemiplegia join hands to form the Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association.

2002
The First Stroke Program

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia launches the first-ever national program dedicated to pediatric stroke patients.

2007
The Senate’s Resolution

The U.S. Senate designates the first Saturday of May as National Childhood Stroke Awareness Day.

2017
The Community Gathers

The Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association organizes the first-ever retreat for families of pediatric stroke survivors in Denton, Texas.

Childhood Stroke Awareness Day FAQs

Is a stroke painful?

A stroke is often painless and doesn’t manifest any dramatic symptoms in the body other than a severe headache or untimely tingling in the left arm.

What is the leading cause of pediatric stroke?

There are no correctable causes of pediatric strokes, since it’s a brain injury caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain.

Is it normal for kids to have a stroke?

It is slightly uncommon for kids to have a stroke, although a stroke can happen to anyone, including children, infants, and neonatal fetuses.

How to Observe Childhood Stroke Awareness Day

  1. Learn the symptoms

    Weakness or sudden numbness, slurred speech, balancing troubles, limping, vision loss, and seizures are all symptoms of a stroke. Many parents and guardians are completely unaware of the preemptive symptoms of a stroke, which often turns fatal if not brought under immediate medical supervision. This Childhood Stroke Awareness Day, learn all about the symptoms of a stroke and arm yourself with immediate first aid care.

  2. Join the retreat

    The Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association organizes an annual retreat in Texas. Hemiplegia is a condition caused by intermittent brain damage that results in partial paralysis of the body. A great number of pediatric strokes cause hemiplegia in patients. The retreat brings families of kids suffering from hemiplegia together to form a support system and is open to everyone.

  3. Spread the word

    Every adult should be aware of the glaring symptoms and immediate care that must be administered to the kids who are at risk of a stroke. Today, share the information with your followers on social media and tell everyone in your life about the fatal implications of pediatric strokes.

5 Chilling Facts About Childhood Strokes You’ll Find Hard To Believe

  1. It’s a repetitive cycle

    The risk of recurrent strokes after the initial stroke stands between 15% to 18%.

  2. You may never know about it

    The symptoms of a stroke are often misdiagnosed with common conditions such as migraines or epilepsy.

  3. It’s more common than you think

    Roughly one in 2,000 infants under one month are at risk of a perinatal stroke.

  4. As dangerous as a tumor

    The occurrence of pediatric strokes is as common as brain tumors in children.

  5. The overreaching impact

    Roughly 60% of all stroke survivors exhibit permanent neurological deficits such as cerebral palsy or partial paralysis.

Why Childhood Stroke Awareness Day is Important

  1. It saves lives

    Childhood Stroke Awareness Day brings attention to the fragile state of infant healthcare in the U.S. The central aim of the day is to equip every primary pediatric caregiver with information about suspicious neurological symptoms, such as partial limb weakness or difficulty in walking, and to encourage a prompt consultation with a doctor.

  2. It spreads awareness

    There is negligible awareness about the risk of pediatric strokes among the public, with the majority dismissing the idea of heart problems in children. Through the awareness campaign, parents and caregivers are armed with critical information about the detection, treatment, and aftercare of stroke patients.

  3. It is informative

    Since 2002, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has been a critical voice of reason and action regarding pediatric strokes in the country. With this annual observance, the hospital carries out infomercials and deploys informational kits to educate people about the early symptoms of pediatric strokes and attacks.

Childhood Stroke Awareness Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 7Saturday
2023May 6Saturday
2024May 4Saturday
2025May 3Saturday
2026May 2Saturday

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