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In this section of our website you will find up-to-date information on health care issues related to Down syndrome. We trust you will find this information useful. We encourage you to contact us for questions or suggestions at (518) 438-1113 or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Our services at the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center are devoted to helping individuals with Down syndrome get access to appropriate health care, from birth to adulthood, so that they can reach their fullest potential.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011 23:34

Down Syndrome Infant Health Care Guidelines

(Based on “Health Supervision for Children with Down Syndrome” as published in Pediatrics August 2011) Infant (1 - 12 Months)
  • Chromosomal karyotype; genetic counselling, if not already done.
  • Discuss chances of having another child with Down syndrome.
  • Use growth charts for Down syndrome.
  • Radiographic swallowing assessment if marked low muscle tone, slow feeding, choking with feeds, recurrent or persistent respiratory symptoms, failure to thrive. Consider feeding therapy referral, if needed.
  • At 1 year of age begin to check hemoglobin count annually. Include (a) ferritin and CRP or (b) reticulocyte hemoglobin if there is a concern for a diet low in iron or if hemoglobin < 11g.
  • Eye exam for cataracts. Ophthalmology referral to assess for strabismus, nystagmus and cataracts.
  • Delayed or irregular dental eruption, hypodontia is common. First dental visit by 1 year.
  • If constipation present, evaluate for limited diet or fluids, hypotonia, hypothyroidism, gastrointestinal malformation, or Hirschsprung disease.
  • Discuss cervical spine positions, especially for anesthesia or surgical or radiologic procedures.
  • Review signs and symptoms of myopathy. If myopathy signs exists, obtain neck X-rays (C- spine).
  • Thyroid function tests at 6 and 12 months (FT4 and TSH).
  • If a heart condition is identified, monitor for signs and symptoms of congenital heart failure.
  • Well child care: immunizations including influenza.
  • Newborn hearing screen follow-up and assessment by 3 months. Audiology evaluation at 6 months and every 6 months until “ear specific testing is accomplished and normal,” at which point hearing screens can be done on an annual basis.
  • Review signs and symptoms for obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Discuss Early Intervention, including speech therapy, and refer for enrolment in local program, if not done already.
  • Apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), depending on family income.
  • Consider estate planning and custody arrangements; continue family support.
  • Discuss complementary and alternative therapies.
  • Referral to Down syndrome parent group or family support and resources. Local referral to the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center.