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Pediatric Neurological Examination

What is Pediatric Neurological Examination?

A neurological examination assesses the function of a child’s brain, spinal cord and nerves.

Typically performed in a doctor’s office or clinic, a neurological examination checks the function of a child’s nervous system. This important system includes the brain, spinal cord and the nerves that connect them. A neurological exam may be performed:

  • At a newborn physical
  • At the well-child checkup
  • Following any type of birth defect to the head or spine
  • To follow the progression of a neurological condition

What can I expect with Pediatric Neurological Examination?

The pediatric neurologist may use instruments, such as lights and reflex hammers. This is typically a painless exam. During the neurological exam, the doctor will check one or more of the following:

  • Balance and coordination
  • Mental health (level of awareness and interaction with the environment)
  • Motor and sensory skills
  • Nerve function
  • Reflexes

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why would my child need a neurological exam?

    A pediatrician may recommend that a child undergo a neurological exam if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

    • Blurred vision
    • Changes in balance or coordination
    • Changes in behavior
    • Decrease in movement of the arms or legs
    • Fatigue
    • Headaches
    • Injury to the head, neck or back
    • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
    • Seizures
    • Slurred speech
    • Tremor