Roller Coaster May Cause Stroke in Children

Journalists have reported about the case of a 4-year-old boy who had a stroke after a day on the roller coaster. This is not the only child who suffered from the thrilling attraction, but the youngest one.


Riding a roller coaster in an amusement park seems safe and funny only at first glance. The fact that adults often happen to be in hospital with a stroke after visiting the attraction is not uncommon. But, oddly enough, vascular disease can affect a baby.

One such case was considered in detail by neurologist Jose Biller at Loyola University Medical Center. The 4-year-old boy was riding two roller coasters during the holidays. The speed of the first one was 40 km/h, its length was 200 m, and the height – 10 meters. The other one was almost twice as high, and the fall speed reached 64 km/h. A day later, the child began to vomit and felt that the left side of the face had numbed. The doctors diagnosed stroke. There was a slight improvement in the patient’s condition after taking aspirin. Six months later, the boy recovered almost completely, except for stiffness on the left side and light muscle weakness.

Biller explained the occurrence of stroke in a child by a ruptured carotid artery. This was facilitated by the impact of head and neck rotation movements, sudden acceleration and braking.

This phenomenon is a rarity. According to the Examiner publication, Biller believes that children under 10 years are vulnerable to sudden movements of the neck due to the insufficiently developed muscles in this part of the body.

Earlier in the medical literature, only two such cases were described, but the patients were significantly older: a stroke after riding a roller coaster was diagnosed in a 13-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy.

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