A Department for Health campaign has highlighted adult stroke symptoms but top doctors now want the plight of children to be given more attention.
Every year about 400 children in the UK are left with physical and mental impairments following a stroke, according to the Stroke Association.
Dr Vijeya Ganesan, a paediatric neurologist and spokeswoman for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “The symptoms are the same as adults but they are not being recognised in children as possibly indicating a stroke.
“They will put it down to a more benign condition or an injury.
“The delay isn’t with the parents, they know something is wrong, but with every other stage of the journey, ambulance, A&E, the paediatric team.
“It is as common as brain tumours in children and you often hear about brain tumour treatment but not strokes.
“I think there has been a lack of interest even within medicine.”
Connor Lynes was just 14 when he suffered a stroke after a rugby tackle.
He still deals with symptoms, including a constant risk of other strokes.
His rugby dreams dashed, the 16-year-old from Hull now wants to become a neurologist and has launched his own fundraising charity, Team Connor Lynes, to raise awareness for children who have had strokes.
He said: “If they hadn’t realised what was wrong with me I would have died.
“I was in a coma for four days.”
The Child Brain Injury Trust wants more investment in support for children after they have had strokes.
Chief executive Lisa Turan said: “When an elderly person has a stroke they usually have things in place, their career, their family, their home.
“For a young person they have to face their future with something that can be a huge disadvantage.”