The anatomy of the facial nerve and the various etiologic factors in both congenital and acquired facial paralysis in children have been reviewed. Differential diagnosis among the more important of these has been discussed and an evaluation of the possible methods of treatment attempted. This evaluation is difficult because of the high recovery rate without treatment, which may approach 90% in children. If careful study of a case of facial paralysis indicates its idiopathic nature, prompt treatment with oral cortisone is considered indicated. While it is difficult to establish that cortisone greatly improved an already high recovery rate, it seems more clear that the average recovery time is favorably influenced, at least in adults and probably also in children. Cortisone seems the treatment of choice at the present time and during the past 2 years at one hospital, all of 10 patients so treated recovered. This has eliminated the need for consideration of surgical decompression of the facial canal. Whether this will remain true with larger numbers of cases remains to be seen.

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