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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 23:31

Down Syndrome Neonatal Health Care Guidelines

(Based on “Health Supervision for Children with Down Syndrome” as published in Pediatrics August 2011)

Neonatal (Birth - 1 Month)
  • Review parental concerns. Chromosomal karyotype; genetic counselling, if not done prenatally.
  • Check for signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal tract blockage (e.g., duodenal web, duodenal atresia, or Hirschsprung disease).
  • Use growth charts for Down syndrome.
  • If constipation present, evaluate for limited diet or fluids, hypotonia, hypothyroidism, gastrointestinal malformation, or Hirschsprung disease.
  • Radiographic swallowing assessment if marked low muscle tone, slow feeding, choking with feeds, recurrent or persistent respiratory symptoms, failure to thrive. Consider feeding referral, if needed.
  • Referral to Pediatric Cardiology including an Echocardiogram. If a heart condition is identified, monitor for signs and symptoms of congenital heart failure.
  • Car seat evaluation to evaluate for apnea, low heart rate, or oxygen desaturation prior to discharge from the hospital at birth if child is hypotonic or has had cardiac surgery.
  • Complete blood count (CBC) to rule out transient myeloproliferative disorder (TMD) or polycythemia.
  • Review feeding history to ensure adequate caloric intake. Children with Down syndrome can usually nurse, and many can breastfeed successfully. Consider lactation consultation.
  • Thyroid function tests – check on results of state-mandated screening at birth. Add TSH is the state-mandated screening only included T4 results.
  • Newborn hearing screen – auditory brainstem response (ABR) or otoacoustic emission (OAE) – to assess for hearing loss.
  • Discuss risk for respiratory infections.
  • Discuss complementary and alternative therapies.
  • Discuss cervical spine positions, especially for anaesthesia or surgical or radiologic procedures.
  • Review signs and symptoms of myopathy. If myopathy signs exists, obtain neck X-rays (C- spine).
  • Eye exam for cataracts.
  • Discuss value of Early Intervention (infant stimulation) and refer for enrolment in local program.
  • Referral to Down syndrome parent group or family support and resources. Local referral to the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center.
(Based on “Health Supervision for Children with Down Syndrome” as published in Pediatrics August 2011)