World Down Syndrome Day 2024: Theme, History, Awareness, and Activities

Down syndrome is defined as a genetic disorder in which a child is born with an extra chromosome. World Down Syndrome Day is an event worldwide that attempts to acknowledge the difficulties faced by people with down syndrome and spread awareness regarding this condition.

History of World Down Syndrome Day: Beginning in 2006, World Down Syndrome Day is held on March 21. The United Nations announced this day to give the global down syndrome community an opportunity to share their experiences and ideas.

Every year, World Down Syndrome Day is observed in order to create awareness about the condition and break certain stereotypes regarding this condition that prevail in our society.

World Down Syndrome Day 2024 Date

This event is held every year on 21st March. The date 21 is chosen to highlight the significance and uniqueness of trisomy of the 21st chromosome that is responsible for down syndrome.

World Down Syndrome Day 2024 Overview

EventWorld Down Syndrome Day
ObjectiveTo bring the down syndrome community together and spread awareness
DateMarch 21, 2024
ActivitiesWearing mismatched socks, wearing blue and yellow colors, conference at United Nations Headquarters.

Did you know?

During the late 19th century, an English physician John Langdon Down published a precise description of a person suffering from down syndrome. Because of his work published in 1866 and his contribution to the genetic disorder, he was recognized as the “father” of the syndrome.

What actually is Down Syndrome?

A person’s genetic material is stored in their genes. Genes are the code carriers for all the traits that we inherit from our parents. They are formed along rod-like structures called chromosomes. Typically, a normal person carries 23 pairs or 46 chromosomes. But a person born with down syndrome carries an extra chromosome that can be full or partial.

This change in the genetic material modifies certain characters and physical traits that the person exhibits. The physical characteristics of down syndrome include a poor muscle tone, flat face, almond-shaped eyes, small stature, excessive skin folds on the back of the neck, and a distinctive low voice.

This condition also comes along with some mental disabilities. The IQ of an average person with down syndrome is around 50, which is similar to the IQ of an eight or nine-year-old child. These characteristics can vary from person to person depending on the type of down syndrome they are affected with.

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Types of Down Syndrome

  • Trisomy 21

Trisomy 21 indicates an extra copy of chromosome 21, which is three copies, instead of the usual two, in every cell. This type is the most common form of down syndrome, usually accounts for around 95% of the cases.

  • Mosaicism

Also known as mosaic Down syndrome, Mosaicism occurs when a child has an irregular pattern of distribution of chromosomes in all of their cells. Some of the cells contain the extra chromosome and some of them don’t. The cells that do have 47 chromosomes contain the extra chromosome 21.

This is the least common type of down syndrome and only 1% of children born with down syndrome have mosaicism.

  • Translocation

In this type of down syndrome, the total number of chromosomes remains 46 in the cells, however, they have an extra part of chromosome 21. That extra full or partial chromosome is what causes the symptoms of Down syndrome.

What actually causes down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder. Some of the parents may have a greater chance of birthing a baby with down syndrome. Research shows that women above the age of 35 have a greater chance of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome. Likewise, fathers above the age of 40 have twice the chance of contributing to this disorder.  The child may also have down syndrome if the parents do or if there is a history of this genetic disorder in the maternal and paternal families.

However, there’s no single explanation or contributing factor as to why a child could be born with down syndrome. Each case is unique and depends upon a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration.

How is World Down Syndrome Day celebrated?

Starting from 2006, on March 21 of every year, the United Nations invites all the member states and some of its important bodies to observe World Down Syndrome Day. This day is dedicated to spreading awareness about the condition and bringing the community closer together.

It is also celebrated globally by bringing attention to the Down syndrome community and paying heed to their stories and ideas. The community, including their supporters, share knowledge and empower each other through their struggles. People also show their support by wearing mismatched socks, usually the color blue and yellow.


What is the theme of World Down Syndrome Day?

‘With Us Not For Us’

When do we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day?

On March 21

Who announced the World Down Syndrome Day?

United Nations

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