World Down Syndrome Day 2023

5 minute read
World Down Syndrome Day

While I sipped my coffee and continued with the morning routine, I noticed a few children running to catch their school bus. There was just one child in the group who was composed, unhurried, and serene. Although his mother was calling him repetitively to hurry up so he wouldn’t miss his bus, he was watching butterflies. But he was in a completely different world. It seems, I eventually came to the conclusion that he was not in another world. Rather, from his vantage point, the world is different. He was one of the many kids endowed with “Down Syndrome”.

Do we all understand the true nature of Down syndrome? Are we ready to accept and embrace the challenges that come with it yet? Maybe not, given that there is little to no open dialogue about it. On this World Down Syndrome Day celebrated on 21 March, let’s go through every aspect of this genetic condition. 

What is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition spurred due to an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are distinctive “parcels” of genes found in the human body. They decide how a baby’s body will look and function by controlling how it develops during pregnancy and after delivery. The average newborn has 46 chromosomes. In newborns with Down syndrome, one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21, contains an extra copy. The medical term for having an extra copy of a chromosome is trisomy. Down syndrome is often referred to as trisomy 21. This extra copy affects how the baby’s body and brain develop, which could cause problems with the baby’s mental and physical development. But, the real struggles and difficulties for the parent and child start when the baby is born..

Even though the “why” of this disorder or syndrome has never been fully understood, Down syndrome has always existed as a part of the human condition. It exists everywhere throughout the world and frequently has varying consequences on academic achievement, physical traits, and health.

Types of Down Syndrome

Langford Down, who is regarded as the “father” of the syndrome, first published an exact description of a person with this illness in the late nineteenth century. Three distinct types of Down syndrome have been discovered by scientists:

  1. Trisomy 21: This is a condition where an embryo has three chromosomes instead of two due to a nondisjunction error in cell division.
  1. Mosaicism: This happens when two different types of cells coexist, some of which have 46 and some of which have 47 chromosomes. The additional 21 chromosomes are found in those with 47.
  1. Translocation: This kind of translocation is comparatively less frequent. In this case, there are still 46 chromosomes, but an extra copy or part of the copy attaches to another chromosome.

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History of World Down Syndrome Day (Timeline)

World Down Syndrome Day

Theme of World Down Syndrome Day for 2023

World Down Syndrome Day

Characteristics and Appearance

Every year, between 23,000 and 29,000 children are born in India with Down syndrome. Even if the statistics are concerning, there isn’t much open discussion about it in India. Although it is not fatal in developed nations, it still is in India. In India, cytogenetic problems affect roughly 1 in every 166 births, and 1 in every 830 newborns has Down syndrome.

It’s possible that you won’t notice anything unusual right away if your baby has Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome not only have physical traits but also developmental delays. Down syndrome patients typically feature petite stature, low muscular tone, upward slanted eyes, a short neck, one deep furrow across the palm of their hands, and flat faces. They may or may not have all of these characteristics. Let’s take a look at the characteristics and appearance in detail.

Infants – The majority of infants with Down syndrome will have at least some of the following characteristics:

  • A Flattened face
  • Upward-slanting eyes
  • Excess skin on the back of the neck
  • Hypotonia (Lack of muscle tone)
  • Abnormally flexible joints
  • Unusual looking ears
  • Transverse palmer wrinkle on the palm
  • A large space between the first and second toes (sandal gap deformity) 

Both children and adults – Children with Down syndrome also acquire several of the following traits as they mature into adults (if they do not already have them):

  • A short neck
  • Folds on the eyelids
  • A flattened nose bridge
  • Folded, odd or underdeveloped/undersized ears
  • A gaping mouth
  • A protruding tongue
  • A flattened skull in the back (Brachycephaly)
  • Short and broad hands.

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Down Syndrome Complications

Individuals with Down syndrome have some difficulties or rather a range of disabilities. People with this genetic disorder do, however, have personalities, different cognitive processes, and ways of being that characterise them as unique individuals, just like everyone else.

In addition to having an impact on appearance, Down syndrome can lead to a number of medical issues. The majority of these consequences can be managed, though some of them are more significant than others. Have your child tested on a frequent basis to ensure that issues are properly addressed as they arise. Heart defects, blood diseases, including leukaemia (blood cancer), immune system issues, stomach and digestive system problems, hormone disorders, bone problems, intellectual disability, hearing loss, and sleep apnea are some of the most significant Down syndrome adverse effects. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Often, down syndrome is diagnosed during pregnancy. Healthcare workers can typically diagnose Down syndrome based on the appearance of the newborn if it is not detected during pregnancy. In these situations, the diagnosis should be verified with a blood test that looks at the child’s chromosomes (karyotype). 

Down syndrome is a chronic illness. Early intervention services can frequently assist babies and young children with Down syndrome develop their physical and intellectual capacities. The majority of these programmes are geared towards promoting the full development of individuals with Down syndrome. These treatments, which often come under early intervention programmes, include speech, occupational, and physical therapy.

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How to Extend Support and Care to People with Down Syndrome

World Down Syndrome Day
World Down Syndrome Day

How to Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day


Q1 What is the theme of World Down Syndrome Day for 2023?

Ans. The theme of World Down Syndrome Day for 2023 is “With Us Not for Us”.

Q2 Why is world down syndrome day celebrated?

Ans. To change the world by educating people about the condition and increasing public awareness

Q.3 What are the colors designated for this World Down Syndrome day?

Ans: Blue and Yellow

The purpose of World Down Syndrome Day is to increase awareness by informing people about this unusual disorder, for which not even scientists can provide a definitive rationale. By learning more about this genetic disorder, we can all work to improve the world by raising awareness of the rights, inclusion, and support of those with Down syndrome.

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