Medical IDs for Down Syndrome

Living with Down syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes mild to serious physical and developmental problems. It’s a lifelong condition that can result in intellectual disability and developmental delays. According to the CDC, about 6,000 babies a year are born with Down syndrome, making it the most common chromosomal disorder in the U.S. Early childhood intervention is critical and can greatly increase the quality of life for people with Down syndrome, helping them develop to their full potential. 

One of the most important things families living with Down Syndrome can do is to help ensure their loved one’s safety in an emergency. In an an accident or medical emergency, someone with Down syndrome may not be able to speak for themselves, either due to overstimulation or speech challenges. And those with Down syndrome and other developmental disorders are at a higher risk for wandering, also called elopement, where the person wanders from a safe place like home or school. That’s why a MedicAlert ID is an essential tool for safety and protection for those living with Down syndrome.

Why wear a Down syndrome MedicAlert bracelet? 

MedicAlert is the original medical ID service, with over 65 years of protecting individuals with chronic medical conditions. A MedicAlert ID and membership plan will ensure that in the event of a medical emergency, medical staff will be able to access your loved one’s vital information by checking their Down syndrome bracelet and contacting MedicAlert. 

In an emergency, MedicAlert can be the voice for someone with Down syndrome, communicating their medical conditions. If someone with Down syndrome wanders, MedicAlert’s Wandering Support® services can help ensure a safe return home by coordinating with local officials in law enforcement and emergency services. Many times, a Good Samaritan will notice someone who looks lost is wearing a MedicAlert ID; when they contact us, we can immediately connect them with that person’s family or caregiver to get them to safety as soon as possible.

MedicAlert offers members 24/7 emergency support services, ensuring that healthcare workers can request a member’s medical information no matter when or where it’s needed. In the event of an emergency, nearby bystanders are also able to identify a MedicAlert ID bracelet and call for medical assistance on the person’s behalf. By enrolling them in MedicAlert and purchasing a piece of Down syndrome awareness jewelry, you can provide safety and protection for your loved one. 

The importance of a Down syndrome medical ID bracelet

Wearing a medical ID at all times ensures your medical conditions are immediately known in an emergency. 

When first responders see your MedicAlert ID, they know to contact MedicAlert to get your complete health record

Get protected 24/7 with a medical ID and membership.

About Down syndrome 

Down syndrome is a condition that occurs when an individual gains an extra copy of chromosome 21 in their DNA during gestation, resulting in a variety of development and physical symptoms throughout their life. These symptoms vary in intensity from person to person, but generally affect the physical development of the head, muscles, and limbs. In addition, Down syndrome can affect other organs such the heart and gastrointestinal systems.

Down Syndrome is the most common genetic chromosomal disorder and is a contributing factor to a variety of learning and intellectual disorders. There are three distinct types of Down Syndrome, each with different specific causes. In every instance, the generic cause is abnormal cell division relating to chromosome 21 during gestation, resulting in an excess chromosome. The cause behind this abnormal cell division is not known for certain, but various factors have been observed to increase the likelihood of a baby developing Down syndrome in the womb.

The mother’s age is one risk factor; mothers who become pregnant at age 35 or older are more likely to have a pregnancy affected by Down syndrome than women who are pregnant at a younger age. Additionally, the presence of an extra chromosome attached to another chromosome can be passed down from parents, making it more likely to develop Down syndrome, a phenomenon known as translocation. However, the vast majority of cases of Down Syndrome are not inherited. In fact, no one know for sure why Down syndrome occurs, or what other risk factors might be involved.

Source: Centers for Disease Control

What are the different types of down syndrome? 

These are Trisomy 21, Translocation Down syndrome, and Mosaic Down syndrome. Trisomy 21, also used as the medical name for Down syndrome, is the most common type of Down syndrome, consisting of about 95% percent of cases. Individuals with Trisomy 21-type Down syndrome have 3 copies of chromosome 21 rather than the usual 2, most commonly due to a random cell division error during conception. The additional chromosome leads to a variety of physical and developmental changes in the baby. 

Translocation Down syndrome is another type of the condition, whereby an extra portion or a complete copy of chromosome 21 is attached to another chromosome in a child’s cells. This form of Down syndrome is passed down by parents who also have an additional translocated chromosome, but instances of this occurring are rare. Translocation Down syndrome is a much less common type of Down syndrome overall, accounting for only 3% of cases.  

Finally, Mosaic Down syndrome occurs when only a select number of cells bear an extra copy of chromosome 21, while the rest have the normal two. Only 2% of cases of Down syndrome are mosaic, making this type of the condition the rarest and least common of the three. Children with Mosaic Down syndrome may experience less severe effects associated with the condition, as many of the cells in their bodies are not atypical. 

As with any medical condition, you should consult your doctor for specific instructions on managing your condition.

Engraving a Down syndrome medical ID

MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our medical IDs. The engraving on your medical ID should include any critical medical information that can protect and save your life an accident or have a medical emergency, including:

  • Down syndrome or developmental disorder
  • Other medical conditions
  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Implanted devices
  • Amy medical information that needs to be communicated to first responders

We’re proud to partner with the Valley Mountain Regional Center. As one of California’s Regional Centers, they provide tools and resources for those living with developmental disabilities.

Feel confident and enjoy peace of mind with MedicAlert.