Organizing Your Child's Care: From 3 Months+
Discuss the following Down syndrome healthcare guidelines with your primary care provider:
Schedule an echocardiogram with a pediatric cardiologist
- WHAT? An echocardiogram is a procedure that creates pictures of your baby’s heart. It is used to diagnose and rule out heart defects.
- WHY? Babies with Down syndrome are sometimes born with heart defects. It is important to identify any cardiac issues as soon as possible so treatment options can be discussed.
- WHEN? All babies with Down syndrome should have an echocardiogram by 3 months of age.
- HOW? If your baby did not receive an echocardiogram at the hospital before being discharged home, you can schedule an echocardiogram through a pediatric cardiology department. If you would like to make an appointment at CHOP, you can contact the cardiology department at 215-426-4040.
Make an appointment with a pediatric audiologist
- WHAT? An audiologist is a healthcare professional who specializes in ears. S/he is trained to identify, diagnose, treat and monitor hearing problems.
- WHY? The ability to hear affects the ability to speak, so it is important to have your baby’s hearing checked.
- WHEN? Your child should receive a newborn hearing screen with an audiologist by 3 months of age (this is in addition to the newborn hearing screen that is routinely done before leaving the hospital). All babies should see an audiologist every six months until age 3 and then yearly.
- HOW? You can schedule an appointment with any audiologist. If you would like to make an appointment at CHOP, you can contact the audiology department at 800-551-5480.
Make an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist
- WHAT? An ophthalmologist is an “eye doctor.” S/he can assess your child’s vision and diagnosis and treat eye or vision problems.
- WHY? Many vision problems can be easily corrected with glasses or other simple treatments.
- WHEN? All babies with Down syndrome should receive an ophthalmological evaluation by 6 months of age and then yearly.
- HOW? You can schedule an appointment with any pediatric ophthalmologist. If you would like to make an appointment at CHOP, you can contact the ophthalmology department at 215-590- 2791.
Schedule a thyroid function test
- WHAT? Thyroid hormones play an important role in growth, development and metabolism. Thyroid levels are checked with a blood test.
- WHY? Children with Down syndrome are at a higher risk of having abnormal thyroid levels, so it is important that your child’s thyroid levels be checked regularly.
- WHEN? All babies with Down syndrome should have their thyroid levels tested at birth, at 6 months of age, at 1 year of age, and then yearly.
- HOW? You can schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician’s, CHOP, or another lab to have your baby’s thyroid level checked.
For more infomation about organizing your child's care as they grow, see transitioning to adult care.
Date: October 2012