Health and Nutrition Info
All children and adults with Down syndrome should have access to quality healthcare, be seen regularly by a primary care physician and dentist, and have information about how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Many children with Down syndrome also have a long list of specialists. Healthcare professionals should be familiar with the Down Syndrome Healthcare Guidelines and have a copy of the Growth Charts for tracking the height and weight of individuals with Down syndrome. Families may need to provide these resources. From birth to aging there are many health related issues that face individuals with Down syndrome. Families can take an active role in advocating by accessing information regarding advances in healthcare and research. Please continue to scroll down this page for important information.
It is important to get children involved in making good food choices and exercise at an early age in order to develop healthy lifestyle habits. This means more than an organized sport once a week. It may be helpful to choose, along with team-type sports, sports that allow lifelong participation at an individual's activity level, such as swimming, aerobics and dance, weightlifting and other activities that people do at the gym, tennis, or bike riding, etc. See our Recreation Opportunities page for information about local leisure and sports opportunities.
Healthy eating and making good food choices is often difficult. There are so many unhealthy eating choices out there and so many opportunities to be tempted from soda to chocolate to ice cream to potato chips! Children and adults with Down syndrome are no different. It is important to set good examples and insist (whenever possible!) that kids eat healthy. One resouce available is The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook which aims to help parents improve nutrition and manage weight by teaching healthy habits early, but remember it's never too late to start!
Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand. The University of Illinois has two very informative website articles:
Down Syndrome and Exercise
Down Syndrome and Nutrition
Go Voice for Choice - website by a young man with Down syndrome who lost 130 pounds and wants to share with others how to live a healthy lifestyle.
We've also found HOW TO RAISE A HEALTHY EATER. The information is interesting and of course can be applied to all of our children regardless of disability.
Other Important Links:
GROWTH CHARTS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS WITH DOWN SYNDROME BIRTH TO 18
Down Syndrome Healthcare Guidelines
You will find the Healthcare Guidelines which were approved in 2011 detailing a step by step process of accepted protocol in the general healthcare of individuals with Down syndrome.
Down Syndrome Health Issues
You will find an extensive list of articles on various health issues relating to people with Down syndrome.
National Down Syndrome Society website pages and related links for healthcare issues for individuals with Down syndrome. This link will take you to the healthcare page. Highlight the healthcare tab on this site to find more resources for families and medical professionals.
National Down Syndrome Congress website pages and related links for healthcare issues for individuals with Down syndrome.
Down Syndrome Clinics
You will find a comprehensive list of clinics on this site. Although most serve pediatrics, you will find adult centers so look carefully!
Free Dental Services for Children with Special Needs through the Grottoes of North American
Special Needs Dentistry
Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine 954-262-7501.
Link to Hope Haven Down Syndrome Clinic
Health and Wellness brochures from the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities
You can learn about current research efforts in the Down Syndrome community by clicking DSRTF for the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation and DSRF for the Down Syndrome Research Foundation.
Other health related links:
Specs4Us specially designed eyeglasses. These can be purchased at Sunset Vision Center in Sunrise, 954-572-7954. Ask for Brian. Check the website for other locations.
Toilet Training article
Kimberly Dunn, PNP on toilet training and Down syndrome: breezemsprod2.tch.harvard.edu/p61412006/
Potty Training DVD for sale from Signing Times
Allen Crocker, MD on the History of Down Syndrom movement; breezemsprod2.tch.harvard.edu/p58646462/
Here is a link to David Stein Psyd. He spoke at Children's Hospital Boston on Behavior and Down Syndrom ; breezemsprod2.tch.harvard.edu/p45925656/
Local Nutrition Resource: Family Nutrition Center of South Florida
Kathryn Brown, MS RD LDN RYT spoke at Children's Hospital Boston on healthy nutrition and Down syndrome. Here is the link: breezemsprod2.tch.harvard.edu/p54494649/
Information for Medical Professionals on our website.