Down Syndrome Awareness and Incontinence

October is traditionally a time of change as the temperature starts to dip, and the leaves begin to turn into vibrant colors. October is also Down Syndrome Awareness Month, which is a great time to learn more about this condition. As a leading supplier of incontinence and catheter products often used by individuals with Down syndrome, 180 Medical is glad to take this time to help raise awareness. Plus, we’ll talk a bit about incontinence and its relation to Down syndrome.

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What is Down Syndrome?

According to the National Down Syndrome Society, “Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.” While most people have 46 chromosomes, people with Down syndrome have 47.

This additional genetic material can cause issues in development. For example, certain physical characteristics are often associated with Down syndrome, such as having small stature, a slant to the eyes, and a pronounced crease in the palm.

Additionally, children born with Down syndrome may be at a higher risk of developmental delays, heart problems, vision and hearing issues, seizures, and urinary and fecal incontinence.

However, it’s crucial to remember that Down syndrome affects different people differently because each person with Down syndrome is unique. Many people living with Down syndrome go to school, have jobs, and play vital, active roles in their families and communities.

Also, as medical technology continues to advance, individuals with Down syndrome live longer and healthier lives than ever before.

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What Causes Down Syndrome?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Down syndrome occurs in about 1 in every 700 babies.” In other words, about 6,000 infants are born with Down syndrome every year in the United States.

The exact cause of Down syndrome is unknown. However, the age of the mother may play a part in the risk factor of having a child with Down syndrome. For example, a woman giving birth at age 30 has a 1 in 900 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome. A woman at the age of 40 has an increased risk of a 1 in 100 chance.

However, Down Syndrome Awareness Month isn’t about detection or prevention. It’s about understanding and acceptance.

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The Connection Between Down Syndrome and Incontinence

At some point in their lives, people with Down syndrome may experience incontinence.

A study in 2016 showed that 64% of children (from ages 4 to 12) and 22.4% of adults with Down syndrome have urinary or fecal incontinence. They may also experience nighttime bedwetting, which is known as nocturnal enuresis, more frequently.

This may be due to certain individuals with Down syndrome having developmental delays. Plus, adults with Down syndrome may have weakened pelvic floor muscles, leading to higher incontinence rates with age.

Incontinence Supplies for Children and Adults with Down Syndrome

Urinary or fecal incontinence can happen to anyone at any age. If you or someone you give care to with Down syndrome is also experiencing incontinence, there’s no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed. However, it’s important to find a medical supply provider that can provide the highest-quality incontinence supplies with personalized, compassionate service.

180 Medical offers a wide variety of incontinence supplies from the leading brands. Our inventory includes adult diapers, baby diapers, protective pull-on underwear, booster pads, incontinence pads, youth training pants, and bed pads (also known as mattress pads, underpads, and chux).

incontinence brands at 180 medical

One option that works well with both children and adults with incontinence is pull-on disposable underwear, sometimes known as youth training pants for adolescents. These look and feel like real underwear. The only difference is that they’re more absorbent to help catch accidents and urine leakage, whether it’s day or night. Plus, they fit discreetly so no one will know your child with Down syndrome has incontinence.

Also, if you need additional protection, fitting a booster pad inside your diapers, briefs, or training pants can increase absorbency levels. Plus, booster pads can help extend the life of your other incontinence supplies and potentially save you money in the long run.

Take a look at just a few of the many incontinence product solutions we offer at 180 Medical.


This is the tip of the iceberg, but you can find out more about your options by contacting 180 Medical. Our Incontinence Specialists will be glad to listen to you and be a partner in this journey. Plus, we’ll customize an order of insurance-covered incontinence products that’s just right for you or your loved one’s unique needs.

The Importance of Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Down Syndrome Awareness Month is an important month for bringing this condition to the public’s focus. Raising awareness can help reduce negative social stigma about people living with Down syndrome. Also, it’s a great time to celebrate our friends and loved ones with Down syndrome.

It’s not about celebrating disabilities. It’s about celebrating abilities.
Chris Burke, National Down Syndrome Society Goodwill Ambassador

At 180 Medical, we regularly speak with individuals, families, and caregivers impacted by bowel or bladder incontinence. By providing the right incontinence supplies to fit each individual’s needs, we can help restore confidence and increase independence.

Our mission is to help turn lives around. Because of that and much more, we’re proud to honor Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Contact us to see how we can help with your catheter and incontinence supply needs.

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About the Author
Jessica is the Senior Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical. She's been a part of the 180 family for over 11 years. Her favorite parts of working at 180 Medical are our values of compassion and integrity and the positive impact we help make on peoples' lives.

She loves writing, creating art, cooking, gardening, and spending time with her fiancé and their 3 dogs.