Early Signs Of Down Syndrome In Your Toddler
Created by Urvashi Shah Updated on Mar 21, 2018
Since 2012, the United Nations has been observing Down Syndrome Day, which is a global awareness day. This day is marked to raise awareness on Down Syndrome, what it means to have Down Syndrome and how people having Down Syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.
Did you know why 21st March was chosen as the day to celebrate Down Syndrome Day? It is because this day signifies the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome, which causes Down Syndrome.
What Is Down Syndrome?
It is a congenital disorder that arises due to a chromosomal defect. Usually a child has 46 chromosomes at birth. But a child with Down Syndrome has an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Trisomy 21 is another name for Down Syndrome. Chromosomes are the determining factors in the development of a baby, both inside the womb and on the outside. Hence, an extra copy of the chromosomes impacts the normal growth of the baby’s body and brain, leading to the child suffering from intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities.
Types Of Down Syndrome In Babies
Trisomy 21:If a normal human body has two copies of 21 chromosomes, babies with this form of Down syndrome will have three copies of it. 95% of the babies with Down Syndrome belong to this category
Translocation Down Syndrome:In this type, an extra or a whole chromosome 21 attaches or trans locates itself to a different chromosome. Only 3% of babies suffer from this type of Down Syndrome
Mosaic Down Syndrome:With 2% of babies suffering from this type, means a mixture. While some cells have three copies of chromosome 21, many have the usual two copies of the same
Also Read: Early Signs Of Down Syndrome In Your Toddler
Causes Of Down Syndrome In Babies
Though the cause of Down Syndrome in babies have been unknown, it is mostly due to chromosomal issues. It is unclear why a duplication of 21st chromosome leads to Down Syndrome in babies. Mostly women belonging to the age group of 30-40 years have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with Down Syndrome. Signs Of Down Syndrome In Babies-
- Flat nose
- Short neck
- Small ears
- Upward slanting eyes, which are almond shape
- Small teeth
- A tongue that hangs outside the mouth
- Small hands and feet
- Shorter height as compared to other children of same age
- Poor muscle tone and loose joints
- Pink fingers that curve towards the thumb
Common Disorders Related To Down Syndrome-
- Cardiac problems
- Cataract or other eye problems
- Gastrointestinal blockage
- Sleep apnea
- Hearing problems
- Dislocation of the hip joint
Treatment Of Down Syndrome
Emotional and behavioural therapy:This therapy will help reduce sudden bouts of anger and impulsive behaviour. It can also help counsel the caregivers to provide a better mental environment for the child
Physical therapy:This involves exercises and activities to improve motor skills of the child, posture and other physical abilities
Speech-language therapy:This therapy helps affected children to improve their communication skills
How To Prevent Down Syndrome?
- If a family has a history of Down Syndrome, they should undergo genetic counselling before planning for a child
- Women above 35 years of age have a higher chance of giving birth to a baby with Down Syndrome and hence it is advisable to start planning the baby earlier
- If a couple already has a baby suffering from Down Syndrome, it is likely that the other child will too suffer from the same
If you are above 35 years of age, it is better to consult your doctor about the risk of chromosomal defects in babies before planning a family. The doctor will advice you with various steps to safeguard your child from Down Syndrome.
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