Children's health

Medical issues for people with Down syndrome are mostly the same as for typically developing children, however there are some conditions that are more prevalent and should be screened for.  Speak to your GP about both common and specific health issues and their symptoms, keep an eye out for them but don't lose sleep over every sniffle!

You know your child best, you know what is 'normal' for them, so if you feel that there is something wrong then trust your instincts.

Health checks and screenings


Regular screening for the more prevalent (treatable) health issues like Thyroid dysfunction is vital.

Down Syndrome Victoria recommend using the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group (DSMIG) schedule of health checks.
It's a good idea to share these guidelines with your doctor/s.

Royal Children's Hospital recommended health screening.

Did you know that free annual health checks  are available through Medicare?

How do I find a good doctor?


There are no doctors in Victoria that specialise in Down syndrome. The best way to find a knowledgeable GP, paediatrician or other Health Professional is to ask for recommendations from other parents at your local Support Group.

Down Syndrome Victoria do not recommend Health Professionals, however, we do have a list of medical professionals that our members have used.

What to look for in a doctor....The Raising Children Network have a great resource that outlines the types of qualities to look for a Health Professional to care for your child.

Specific health issues


Specific Health Issues to search for more specific topics.

Medicare


There are some, ongoing Medicare rebatesto help toward the costs of allied health services, including the following:

See your GP for further information about these initiatives and to obtain a referral to an appropriate therapist.

Immunisations


Babies with Down syndrome may be at an increased risk of contracting illness due to their lower immune systems. This VicHealth newsletter explains what extra vaccines they need.

Links


The Department of Health - Better Start initiative

Down Syndrome Australia's FAQs conventional and alternative therapies

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)

Down Syndrome Education Online (DSE) - Multi-nutrient formulas and other therapies

Down Syndrome UK - Targeted Nutritional Therapies

Additional links and reading

Alternatively, if you are a Victorian parent/carer and are a member of one of our closed Facebook groups, then asking the group is a great way to get some recommendations.

Visit our Support Groups page.