Baby Health

5 Signs Of Down Syndrome In Kids


When a child is born with down syndrome the mother might not notice. As a mother your only focus is on how sweet your baby is and might not actually notice that your child’s appearance is different. Although your pediatrician immediately knows that something is different.

A syndrome has characteristics that are consistently found together. Frequently this is associated with a change in genetics.  Down syndrome was “discovered” by finding consistent features and physical characteristics that were consistently together along with a mental disability.

Below are a list of characteristics of down as inspired by noahsdad syndrome, although the presence of one alone does not indicate down syndrome.

 

1. Up turned palpebral fissures 

 

Instead of the outer corner of the eye to be down, it will be turned up. This is often referred to as almond shaped eyes just like that of an Asian. This is the most predominant feature of Down syndrome as your child grows up. Look at your own eyes in the mirror to see how the fissure typically points down.


Another thing you’ll notice about their eyes is the presence of brushfield spots, the white flecks close to the periphery of the iris (the colored part) of the eye. One of the obvious characteristics of down syndrome is palpebral fissures.

2. Flat Profile

When you look at a down syndrome baby from the side there will not be much curve from the nose, cheeks or mouth. And when you look at the baby from the front the cheeks seem to hang on the face. This is due to the poor tone in the muscles of the face and is actually a characteristic of hypotonia rather than a true Down syndrome marker. Often times, they frequently leave their mouth hanging open and stick out their tongue.

3. Protruding Tongue

Babies born with down syndrome stick out their tongue and their parents may find it hard to understand why this is so.  The child is frequently sticking out his/her tongue either because of a small mouth, large tongue, or simply poor tone. You will have to frequently take your child to a speech therapist to they can help your child keep in their inside their mouth and also work on their speech development.

4.  Single Palmar Crease

Although people believe that single palmar crease or simian crease is a characteristic common to all children with down syndrome but this is not true. Only 45% of children have a simian crease, but if your child doesn’t have the simian crease that doesn’t mean your child doesn’t have down syndrome. Those who don’t have the crease don’t as a result of hypotonia, that is the hand was not held in a tight fist while he/she was growing in the womb.

5. Hypotonia

Several of the features above are from hypotonia and not actually an unmistakable physical marker of Down syndrome. Hypotonia will be the biggest challenge during the first few years and will be the reason for your frequent therapy sessions. You have to feel hypotonia; it is hard to diagnosis from pictures.

Your baby will feel floppy or limp. When you hold him or her, it feels like they are going to slip through your hands or arms.  If you lay them across your hand, they will look like a wet noodle rather than being able to hold their form.

This will affect every muscle from face to ankles. Tummy time is your new best friend and child’s worst enemy as it will help your baby build head control and be the first building block for their development. The good thing about hypotonia is that your child will cuddle you a lot, like melt into your body.

Despite all these features, the only comment people will give you is “what a cute kid” No one will ever ask you “does your child have down syndrome?” So relax and take care of your baby.
Photo credit: brownswissmomma

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Signs Your Baby Might Have Hearing Problem


During my service year, I was among the NYSC NCCF(Nigeria Christian Corpers Fellowship) and we did regular community service whereby we went round to rural areas and donate few items to the less privileged. It was during one of these our community service that I met a small girl who was a little over a year old and after conversing with her mother I found out that the girl was deaf.

I was drawn to her because she was a twin and her twin(a girl also) was very jovial and everywhere but she was so quiet,I noticed she did not talk much she just stuck to her mother’s side throughout.

Her mother said that she noticed her daughter had not started talking properly, would not respond when being called unlike her twin. She initially said she thought she was just quiet and did not take her to the hospital until she was about 9 months.


This struck a chord with me because I wondered what could have been if it had been noticed earlier on and how they would have been able to tell that their baby was deaf early.

Many children are born deaf because of a genetic reason. Deafness can be passed down in families even though there appears to be no family history of deafness. Deafness can also be caused by complications during pregnancy.

Illnesses such as rubella, viral infection, parasitic infections and herpes can cause a child to be born deaf. There is also a range of medicines, known as ototoxic drugs, which can damage the hearing system of a baby before birth.

Children may become deaf after they are born. Being born prematurely can increase the risk of being deaf or becoming deaf. They may also be born with severe jaundice or experience a lack of oxygen at some point. Both of these can cause deafness.

In early childhood there is a range of things that can be responsible for a child becoming deaf. Infections like meningitis, measles and mumps can cause deafness.

Your baby’s ability to hear is in large part the foundation of his ability to learn. A hearing screening is the most important early way to tell if a baby’s hearing is impaired, but parents also need to be alert for warning signs.

Signs of hearing loss can be different for different babies, and the extent of hearing impairment can vary. There are various signs to look out for depending on how old your baby is:

Birth to 3 Months

  • Becomes quiet when around everyday voices or sounds
  • Reacts to loud sounds: baby startles, blinks, stops sucking, cries, or wakes up
  • Makes soft sounds when awake: baby gurgles

3 to 6 Months

  • Turns eyes or head toward sounds: voices, toys that make noise, a barking dog
  • Starts to make speech-like sounds: “ga,” “ooh,” “ba,” and p, b, m sounds
  • Reacts to a change in your tone of voice

6 to 9 Months

  • Responds to soft sounds, especially talking
  • Responds to own name and looks when called
  • Understands simple words: “no,” “bye-bye,” “juice”
  • Babbles: “da da da,” “ma ma ma,” “ba ba ba”

9 to 12 Months

  • Consistently responds to both soft and loud sounds
  • Repeats single words and copies animal sounds
  • Points to favorite toys or foods when asked

Hearing is very important for the development of a child because it holds them back when compared to their age mates. It is important that hearing problems are detected early so the child can get help early. If you notice any of these signs in your child it is important that you report to a doctor immediately so as to give the baby the best quality life possible.

 

 

 

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