Birth Defects: Down Syndrome

Jenna Rover- Human Growth and Development A3

Signs of Down Syndrome

  • Decreased or poor muscle tone
  • Short neck, with excess skin at the back of the neck
  • Flattened facial profile and nose
  • Small head, ears, and mouth
  • Upward slanting eyes, often with a skin fold that comes out from the upper eyelid and covers the inner corner of the eye
  • White spots on the colored part of the eye (called Brushfield spots)
  • Wide, short hands with short fingers
  • A single, deep, crease across the palm of the hand
  • A deep groove between the first and second toes

Ways to Prevent Down Syndrome

There is no way to prevent having Down Syndrome. Since Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder.

Treatments/ Medications/ Surgery

There are no specific treatments for Down Syndrome. Treatment is based on the individuals physical and intellectual needs. Kids with Down Syndrome will receive care from a team of health proffesionals, along with physicians, special educators, speech therapist, occupational theropist, physical educators and social workers

Organizations for Down Syndrome


1 in every 691 babies are born with Down Syndrome in the US making Down Syndrome the most common genetic condition.

Caring for a Baby with Down Syndrome


  • Kids with Down Syndrome often have an enlarged tongue with poor muscle tone.
  • When they sleep, the tongue may fall into the back of the throat. This can lead to obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes someone to stop breathing for very short periods of time. Nearly 45 percent of children with Down syndrome suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Reaching Milestones:

  • Because the first years of life are so critical for a child's future development, all babies born with Down syndrome are eligible for free early intervention services via the federally mandated Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These include physical therapy (to bolster motor skills and improve muscle tone); speech-language therapy (to heighten listening and speaking skills, as well as help with swallowing problems); and occupational therapy (to help children master life skills such as feeding and dressing oneself, opening doors, and holding crayons and pencils).