The visual signs of Down Syndrome

Healthcare professionals have a long list of about fifty telltale signs that they look for. Not all are evident in every case. In fact it’s rare to find even a majority of them in an individual baby. Here are some of the more easily spotted ones.

1. Slanting eyes.
Very common with Down Syndrome. The inner corners of the eyes, next to the nose, have an extra fold of skin called an epicanthal fold.

2. Hypotonia, or underdeveloped muscle tone.
It’s hard to spot this sometimes, especially if it’s your first baby or you have limited experience with newborn kids. Downs babies are usually floppier. Supporting the infant’s head and neck correctly becomes more important, as they will take longer to develop the muscle strength than a non-Downs baby would.

3. Short neck with a bulge of fat at the back.

4. Short, broad feet and hands.There is often a single crease across the palm.

5. Small ears that are set slightly lower on the head than normal.

6. Hyperflexibility, or an apparent ‘double-jointed’ ability.

7. Smaller head than usual, often with a flat area at the back.