Doctors and nurses are not recognising the signs of a stroke in children, an expert has warned.

Dr Vijeya Ganesan, a senior lecturer in paediatric neurology at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, wants healthcare staff to get better at spotting the condition.

She told Sky News: "In my experience ... often parents will go to casualty and say to doctors 'I think my child might have had a stroke' and in fact be dismissed.

"What I would like to see is improved recognition and improved acknowledgment on the part of healthcare professionals."

Most people associate strokes with the older generation, but it is actually one of the UK's top 10 causes of child deaths. It is thought around 445 youngsters aged 17 and under have one every year. One study found a third of children who went to hospital paralysed down one side of their body - a key symptom - were not given a brain scan within 24 hours.

The signs of a stroke are similar in both children and adults, but Dr Ganesan said the causes are different.

"About half the children will already have some other healthcare condition, such as sickle cell anaemia or congenital heart problems, but the other half of children are otherwise completely healthy."