Myth: “All babies who have Down syndrome have ‘older’ parents.”
Facts to disprove myth:
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, the only factor that has been linked to an increased chance of having a baby with Down syndrome is increased maternal age, however, due to higher birth rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
While the mother's age can increase the risk of developing Down syndrome, it's not something that can be “triggered” or spread. An extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21 in the baby’s DNA causes Down syndrome.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, there is no definitive scientific research that indicates that Down syndrome is caused by environmental factors or the parents’ activities before or during pregnancy.
- Capelin, L. (2016). 7 myths you need to stop believing about Down’s Syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/a26268/myths-about-down-syndrome/
- National Down Syndrome Society (2020). What is Down syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.ndss.org/about-down-syndrome/down-syndrome/
- National Down Syndrome Society (n.d.). Down syndrome myths & truths. Retrieved from http://www.ndss.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/NDSS-Myths-and-Truths-2015.pdf