Down syndrome is the most common cause of intellectual disability among live-born children and is amenable to prenatal detection. In this article, we will discuss about how a baby with down syndrome looks like and the reasons behind these physical traits.
What are the peculiar physical traits of a down syndrome baby?
Children with down syndrome have some common physical features which include almond-shaped eyes that slant upwards, short neck, short stature, a flattened face, especially the bridge of the nose, small ears, a tongue that tends to stick out of the mouth, tiny white spots on the iris (coloured part) of the eye.
Some other peculiar features include:
- Small hands and feet
- Poor muscle tone or loose joints
- Palmar crease, which is a single line across the palm of the hand
- Small pinky fingers that sometimes curve toward the thumb
- Short height as children and adults.
At birth, babies with down syndrome are often smaller than other babies, but their growth is slow as compared to others. It is because they often have less muscle tone, may seem floppy, and have trouble holding their heads up. However, this usually gets better with time. Low muscle tone can also mean babies have a hard time sucking and feeding, which can affect their weight.
Why do down syndrome babies have distinctive physical features?
The distinctive physical features of down syndrome are caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. Typically, a person has two copies of chromosome 21. But in individuals with down syndrome, there is an extra copy, also known as trisomy 21. This extra genetic material can affect how the body develops, including the way the face, limbs, and organs form.
It’s important to note that the physical features of down syndrome can vary from person to person. Not all individuals with down syndrome will have all of the typical characteristics. Nonetheless, the presence of these physical features can sometimes help healthcare providers identify and diagnose Down syndrome shortly after birth.
Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.