7 Tips to Prevent Mental Retardation

Learn about some of the causes of mental retardation and what you can do to keep your baby healthy.

Click on an item in the set below to see more info.

2. Find Out About Down Syndrome

Cause: A genetic cause of mental retardation, Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder where the individual has too many or too few chromosomes.

Prevention: Genetic counseling is recommended for family with a history of down syndrome.

3. Promptly Treat Phenylketonuria (PKU)

Cause: Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a genetic condition that can cause mental retardation if untreated. PKU is when people cannot metabolize phenylalanine, and it builds to toxic levels that damage the brain.

Prevention: Change the individual's diet to control PKU and prevent mental retardation. Identify early with infant screening before the effects of PKU take effect.

4. Abstain From Alcohol During Pregnancy

Cause: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is caused by a mother drinking during pregnancy. Congress recognizes FAS as the most common cause of mental retardation.

Prevention: Educate pregnant women to understand the importance of staying healthy. Pregnant mothers who do not drink alcohol prevent this condition in their children!

5. Help Your Kid Avoid Lead Poisoning

Cause: Children can get lead poisoning by breathing lead directly from the air or by eating paint chips.

Prevention: Place household chemicals out of reach. Remove environmental toxins from home.

6. Stay Healthy During Pregnancy

Cause: Children born prematurely at low birth weights.

Prevention: Access good prenatal care. Reaching full-term pregnancy is important for the development of unborn babies.

7. Report Child Abuse and Neglect

Cause: Abuse and neglect causes children to have impaired mental functioning.

Prevention: Teachers and health care workers must report any suspected cases of abuse or neglect, which can prevent more incidences of abuse. Abstain from abusing or neglecting children.

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