Down syndrome is the result of an imbalance in the chromosomes of a child. Chromosomes contain all of the body’s genes, and there should be 46 chromosomes in the human body. Down syndrome occurs when there are extra 21 chromosomes, and the problem is permanent and something that your child will have for the rest of his or her life. The mental problems that are caused by the disorder can be hard to deal with, which is why it is essential to understand as much as possible about Down’s Syndrome.
There are 46 chromosomes in the body, 23 pairs in all. The 23 pairs of chromosomes in each person’s body come from the bodies of the parents, and they join together in the egg to form a new child. However, when there is an extra 21st chromosome, Down’s Syndrome is the result. This is caused by some mistake occurring during the fertilization of the egg, and a third chromosome 21 is formed.
There is nothing that you can do to cause Down Syndrome, as the disorder may affect anyone regardless of what they do to prevent it. Usually women who are older tend to be more likely to have a child with down syndrome, and it can be caused by anything from part of the 21st chromosome breaking off to form with another pair to incorrect cell division resulting in too many chromosomes.
There are a few signs that a child has Down syndrome:
- The eyes slant upwards, the nose is flat, the mouth is open, a large tongue sticks out, and the jaw is small.
- The child will usually be shorter than normal, will have problems learning, and will not develop motor and coordination skills as fast as other kids.
- The hands are broad, the palms have a deep crease in the middle, the fingers are short, the pinky finger is curved inwards, the toes are short, and there is usually an abnormally wide gap between the first two toes.
- The head is usually rounder than normal and is flat at the back, and excess skin at the back of the neck is probable.
- The muscle and joints are limp and loose.
- Down syndrome may also lead to other disorders such as leukemia, eye and mouth infection, heart and lung problems, eyesight problems, underdeveloped organs, and blood diseases.
All of these things can only be prevented, and down syndrome cannot be cured due to the fact that it is a disease that is rooted in the genes of the child.
Caring for a down syndrome child is a difficult task, as the child develops much more slowly than they should. Down syndrome children may have a hard time walking, talking, eating, using the bathroom, and doing other tasks that many children find normal. Being the parent of a child with down syndrome is never easy, but it is important to be prepared to do as much as it takes to provide your child with the best care regardless of his or her physical condition.
In order to properly care for your child:
- Make sure to attend all medical checkups as scheduled, as the doctor can help you to catch diseases and problems before they become serious.
- Vaccinate your child to ensure that he or she is protected against the many diseases that their immune system will not be able to fight.
- Learn as much as possible about the disorder to ensure that you can provide the best possible care to your child.
- Spend time loving your child and interacting with him or her.