Improved survival of children with congenital heart disease has led to increasing focus on neurodevelopmental outcome, as close to half of the infants undergoing cardiac surgery are affected by neurodevelopmental disability. Stroke is particularly important as it frequently results in permanent neurologic sequelae. The aim of this study was to investigate risk factors for peri-procedural arterial ischaemic stroke (AIS) in children with cardiac disease. A retrospective case-control analysis of children aged <18 years with radiologically confirmed AIS following a cardiac procedure admitted to the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne between 1993 and 2010. Each case was matched with two controls with similar cardiac diagnosis, procedure type, age and date of procedure. Demographics and peri-procedural data were collected from medical records and departmental database. Fifty-two cases were identified. Multivariable analysis identified post-procedural infection (OR 6.1, CI 1.3-27, p = 0.017) and length of ICU stay (OR 4.0, CI 1.4-11, p = 0.009) as risk factors for AIS. Although the study is limited to a single-centre cohort, length of ICU stay and post-procedural infection were identified as risk factors for AIS. These findings demonstrate these factors to be important areas to focus attention for stroke prevention in children with cardiac disease.