Down syndrome is a genetic disorder involving the number of chromosomes acquired by an individual. Typically, each human individual should only have 23 pairs of a chromosome, which comes from the mother and the father. Unfortunately, individuals with Down syndrome have an extra 21st chromosome, which is referred to as trisomy 21. The additional chromosome in the genes of individuals thus results in a lower-than-average cognitive ability, which is accompanied by mild to moderate disabilities.
Based on statistical data gathered worldwide, out of 733 births, there will be one individual who is most likely to have this condition with higher risks occurring in older parents. Nevertheless, this condition of the fetus can easily be identified by doctors through amniocentesis or amniotic fluid test wherein a small amount of amniotic fluid from the amniotic sac which surrounds the developing fetus is extracted so the fetal DNA of the fetus can be examined for possible genetic abnormalities.
The Common Features
The following are the common features of babies with Down Syndrome:
Head and Facial Features
- small ears which are positioned slightly lower from the head with a significant small fold on top of their ear
- flattened back of the head
- slightly protruding tongue
- slightly shortened fingers
- small fingers which are curved inward
- horizontal crease in the palms of the hand
- slightly shortened toes
- the slightly enlarged gap between the second and big toes
Risk of Complications Associated with Down Syndrome
The individual with Down Syndrome is more likely to have a higher risk of complications like congenital heart disease, malignancies, thyroid disorders, gastrointestinal problems, infertility, neurology, eye disorders, and skeletal concerns.
Proper Care and Management
Children with Down Syndrome should be loved and taken cared of even more by their patients but for those who don’t know how to properly cope with this kind of situation you may begin by following these recommendations:
- Patients should interact more with their children so they can teach him or her how to perform specific tasks. Read books. Teach them how to paint or if you like, you may even enroll them in special schools, which can help train children with a similar condition.
- Educate yourself with regard to this condition. This is the best thing a parent can do so you can understand what your child is going through. Read books or go to seminars. Explore all the possible avenues so you can learn more and better assist your child.
- Regularly bring him or her to the doctor for vaccination and regular check-up. This reduces the risk of a worsened medical condition and better health for your child.