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Pediatric Hydrocephalus

Key Points About Hydrocephalus in Children

  • A baby with hydrocephalus has extra cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) around the brain. The baby's head may look larger than normal.
  • This is a rare condition.
  • A healthcare provider may diagnose this condition during an ultrasound in pregnancy.  
  • The goal of treatment is to reduce the pressure inside your baby's head. This is done by draining the fluid or decreasing its production.
  • The key to treating this condition is getting it diagnosed and treated early, and preventing infections.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is hydrocephalus in children?

What causes hydrocephalus in a child?

What are the symptoms of hydrocephalus in a child?

How is hydrocephalus diagnosed in a child?

How is hydrocephalus in a child treated?

What are possible complications from the shunts or surgery for hydrocephalus in a child?

What can I do to prevent hydrocephalus in my child?

How can I help my child live with hydrocephalus?

When should I call my child's health care provider?

When should I call 911?

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Neurology Treatment at Children's National Hospital

Every one of our neurologists has specialized training in child neurology and all have fields of expertise in subsets of child neurology. Discover more about the treatments we offer.

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Meet the Providers Who Treat Hydrocephalus

Abagail's Story

Every day is hydrocephalus awareness day for me - Abagail's mom

Departments that Treat Hydrocephalus

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Whether your infant has arrived prematurely or has a critical illness, the Children's National Hospital's top-ranked team assists in coordinating every service you and your baby need, including consultations, assessments, emergency treatments and continuing care.


Children's National Hospital has some of the world's foremost experts in care for children with complex neurodevelopmental disorders affecting the brain and central nervous system.

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The Zickler Family Prenatal Pediatrics Institute

The Zickler Family Prenatal Pediatrics Institute at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., provides specialized care for babies during pregnancy, delivery and after birth.