For Parents: Helping Children Who Have AFM

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is an uncommon but serious neurologic condition. The most common symptoms are sudden arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes, which may lead to paralysis. It is more common for children to get AFM than adults. AFM can be caused by viruses, including enteroviruses. There is currently no proven way to treat or prevent AFM. Learn more about AFM.

AFM can be devastating for patients and their families. CDC knows that families are facing uncertainties when it comes to their child’s recovery from AFM. We are keeping these children front and center as we work with our partners to better understand AFM, research why some people get this condition, and develop ways to treat and prevent it.

We invite you to share questions you have by sending them to

Book cover, No Time for the Moon

“No Time For The Moon” (pdf), by Eric Arnold & Diane Roston, MD, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman

Children’s book about four kids with AFM who have big dreams. Includes a grown-up guide, Q&A, and a fun template for children to fill out about themselves.

Download the pdf or order your free copy on CDC-INFO on Demand - Publications (search “AFM”).