Skip to content

Children's Health

Font Size

Down Syndrome, Ages 1 to 5 - Topic Overview

If your child who has Down syndrome is between the ages of 1 and 5 years, you will likely have ongoing questions and concerns. Your doctor can help answer your questions and guide you to appropriate resources to help you manage your feelings and plan for your child's long-term care needs.

Your doctor will likely address a variety of issues during your child's regularly scheduled checkups. In addition to talking about health problems, your doctor may talk with you about concerns like:

  • Growth and development. Children with Down syndrome grow and develop in the same way as other children but at a slower rate.
  • Education. Early-intervention programs exist for babies and young children up to age 3. Staff and caregivers in these programs monitor and encourage the development of children with special needs. If early intervention is not available in your area, you may be able to find people to help your child with physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Discuss preschool programs and other current or future school placement.
  • Behavior and relationships. Your doctor will want to know whether your child gets along with siblings and has generally acceptable and healthy behavior. Consider whether there is a need for behavioral management, social skills, or recreational skills training. Discuss how your other children are adjusting to having a sibling with Down syndrome.
  • Diet and exercise. Children with Down syndrome are prone to gaining weight. Your doctor can advise you on how to prevent your child from becoming overweight by providing a balanced diet and encouraging regular physical activity.
  • Preventing common illnesses. Taking precautions to prevent colds and other respiratory infections is important for a child with Down syndrome. A narrow nose and air passages make children with Down syndrome prone to minor blockages from mucus during respiratory infections. A stuffy nose forces your child to breathe through the mouth. This dries out the mucous membranes and increases the chances of an upper respiratory infection. Your child's immunization history should also be discussed and reviewed.

If you have concerns about your chances of having another child with Down syndrome, talk with your doctor at this time. You may want to discuss how the condition may be diagnosed during pregnancy.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: July 01, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Down Syndrome, Ages 1 to 5 Topics

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    boy on father's shoulder
    Article
     
    Child with red rash on cheeks
    Slideshow
    girl thinking
    Article
     

    Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Syringes and graph illustration
    Tool