01/25/2008 - Though stroke is widely seen as something that only afflicts adults, children are not immune to stroke. In general, children in the perinatal stage (the weeks immediately before and after birth) are at the greatest risk. In a report from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the rate of stroke for infants less than 30 days old (per 100,000 live births per year) was 26.4. That number shrinks considerably (to 2.7) in children between the ages of 1 and 14. Certain risk factors for childhood stroke include history of infertility, preeclampsia (a condition in the pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure), decreased fetal movement, and a prolonged second stage of labor. While these numbers might be shocking, a 2002 report in the medical journal Neurology noted that the childhood mortality from stroke declined sharply (58 percent) between 1979 and 1998.