Down Syndrome South Afica









Characteristics of Down syndrome


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Babies with Down syndrome do look slightly different to other babies and can usually be identified by certain typical features. Not all of these traits mentioned below are found in every child with Down syndrome. Like all children, children with Down syndrome do resemble their parents.

Muscle hypotonia - low muscle tone Hyper flexibility - an excessive ability to extend the joints ( double jointed).

Epicanthal folds - small skin folds on the inner corner of the eyes.

Flat facial profile - somewhat depressed nasal bridge and a small nose.

The hands tend to be broad with short fingers. Simian line - a single crease on the palm of the hand. The small finger may tend to curve inward.

A wide space between the first and second toes (sandal gap).

Short stature

Congenital heart defects in 40 - 50% of people with Down syndrome.

8 - 12 % have gastrointestinal tract abnormalities present at birth. Most of these defects are now correctable by surgery.

Hearing may be affected in up to 65% of people with Down syndrome. It is advisable to have children’s ears tested at least every six months.

Vision problems occur in 50 % of people with Down syndrome. It is advisable to take your child for an eye test every second year.