World Down Syndrome Day: 5 Important Things to Know About It

Dr. Gayatri Jethani

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gayatri Jethani


4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Down syndrome causes physical, mental disorders and developmental delays
  • Protruding tongue and weak muscles are a few Down syndrome symptoms
  • Speech and occupational therapies form a part of Down syndrome treatment

World Down Syndrome Day is observed every year on March 21. The purpose of this observation is to spread awareness about this condition, and share thoughts, knowledge and experience. According to reports, more than 3000 children are born with this condition every year [1]. Is Down syndrome genetic? Well, in most cases it is not. It is usually resulted from abnormal cell division in fetus during early stage of pregnancy.

Your cells normally contain 46 chromosomes in which you inherit 23 from your father and the remaining 23 from your mother. Children facing this condition have an extra chromosome called the down syndrome chromosome formed by uneven cell division involving chromosome 21.  In this case each of them will have a total of 47 chromosomes. The additional chromosome, which is the Down syndrome genotype, is called Trisomy 21. Each cell of a person suffering from Down syndrome will have three copes of chromosome 21.  

Read on to know more on what is down syndrome, its symptoms and how World Down Syndrome Day is observed. 

Additional Read: What is the Importance of the Right Nutrition for Children?

Down syndrome symptoms 

Symptoms may vary from one individual to the other. However, if someone close to you is suffering from this condition; you may observe problems in their reasoning and understanding skills. They may even take time to reach important milestones like talking, socializing and walking. 

Here are a few symptoms you need to check for [2]: 

  • Protruding tongue 
  • Loose joints 
  • Flat nose 
  • Small ears
  • Weak muscles
  • Slanting of eyes at outer corners
  • Short neck
  • Small stature
  • Presence of white spots in eyes
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Inability to concentrate
Additional Read: Obsessive-compulsive Disorder: What are the Symptoms and How to Treat Them? Down Syndrome Complications

Down syndrome causes 

While there are many factors responsible for this condition, the risk will be higher if you become pregnant post the age of 35. For instance, a 25-year-old pregnant individual may have a 1 in 1250 chances of giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome. However, if you conceive at the age of 40, the probability narrows down to 1 in 100.  

Types of down syndrome 

There are three types of Down syndrome [3]. They include: 

  • Trisomy 21 
  • Translocation Down syndrome 
  • Mosaic Down syndrome

Trisomy 21 is the most common type in which each body cell has three chromosome 21 copies rather than usual two. In the translocation type, each body cell may either have a part or a full extra chromosome 21. Mosaic Down syndrome is one of the rarest types in which only a few cells the extra chromosome 21. 

World Down Syndrome Day - 42

Down syndrome diagnosis 

In a newborn, it is easy for doctors to suspect this condition on the basis of the baby’s appearance. A special blood test may be used to detect the presence of the extra chromosome 21. Routine tests are done during pregnancy to detect if you have a high risk of giving birth to a child with this condition. Blood tests and ultrasound imaging are done during the first and second trimesters to rule out any possibilities. Other tests to check out the extra chromosome 21 include: 

  • Amniocentesis 
  • CVS
  • PUBS

Down syndrome treatment 

While there is no specific treatment for this condition, certain therapies may help affected individuals reach their full potential. It is always better to start such therapies at an early age. Each child has different requirements and needs. The following services may come handy for its treatment. 

  • Social and recreation techniques
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Special education services 

World Down Syndrome Day 2022: A brief overview 

The tagline for this year is #InclusionMeans. This is to empower people globally so that those who are affected with this condition are not neglected. They are included as a part of the society and provided with equal rights and opportunities [4].

Engaging children at a young age with developmental therapies help build their mental and physical health. With modern advancements in medical science, there is always a better outlook for individuals affected with Down syndrome. It can also help treat other mental health issues like seasonal depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and more. For medical advice, connect to top pediatricians on Bajaj Finserv Health. Book an online doctor consultation and clear your doubts from the comfort of your home. Do a timely diagnosis to rule out any possibilities of Down syndrome.

Published on 17 Mar 2022Last updated on 24 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Gayatri Jethani

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gayatri Jethani



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