There are more than 50 features of Down syndrome. But not every person with Down syndrome has all the same features or health problems. Some features and problems are common.
Body shape and size
- Short stature (height). A child often grows slowly and is shorter than average as an adult.
- Weak muscles (Reference hypotonia Opens New Window) throughout the body. Weak belly muscles also make the stomach stick out.
- A short, wide neck. The neck may have excess fat and skin.
- Short, stocky arms and legs. Some children also have a wide space between the big toe and second toe.
Face shape and features
- Slanted eyes. Tissue may also build up on the colored part of the eye (iris). But the child's vision is not affected by this buildup.
- A nasal bridge that looks pushed in. The nasal bridge is the flat area between the nose and eyes.
- Small ears. And they may be set low on the head.
- Irregularly shaped mouth and tongue. The child's tongue may partly stick out. The roof of the mouth (palate) may be narrow and high with a downward curve.
- Irregular and crooked teeth. Teeth often come in late and not in the same order that other children's teeth come in.
Reference Health problems related to Down syndrome, such as:
- Reference Intellectual disability Opens New Window. Most children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate cognitive disability.Reference 1
- Reference Heart defects Opens New Window. About half of the children who have Down syndrome are born with a heart defect.
- Reference Hypothyroidism Opens New Window, Reference celiac disease Opens New Window, and eye conditions.
- Respiratory infections, hearing problems, or dental problems.
- Reference Depression Opens New Window or behavior problems associated with Reference ADHD Opens New Window or Reference autism Opens New Window.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 7, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics