Caring for a Child with Turner Syndrome

January 31, 2022
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Turner Syndrome is a condition that affects the chromosomes and development of girls. Medical researchers estimate Turner Syndrome is present in 1 out of every 2,500 births, so although it is relatively rare, it still impacts tens of thousands of people every year. Although this condition is treatable and the long-term outlook is usually positive, children with Turner Syndrome often have special care needs.

If a child or loved one has been diagnosed with Turner Syndrome, learning more about this condition and the special care needs that come with it can help. The following guide can provide the information you need to be more engaged with caring for a child with Turner Syndrome.

What is Turner Syndrome?

Turner Syndrome affects only females, and develops when one of the X chromosomes is fully or partially missing. Chromosomes carry the genetic information that helps make life, basically acting as instruction manuals. The X and Y chromosomes, called the “sex chromosomes,” determine gender in babies.

Females usually have two X chromosomes, and when one is missing totally or partially, it can cause a range of issues. The causes of Turner Syndrome can include both genetic errors from the parents, as well as developmental defects during the early stages of fetal growth. About half of all cases of Turner Syndrome are related to monosomy X, which is when there is only one copy of the X chromosome in each cell.

Girls with Turner Syndrome often encounter the following signs and symptoms:

  • Reduced height
  • Low hairline
  • Developmental problems with reproductive organs
  • Heart and kidney dysfunction
  • Wide or webbed neck
  • Receding jawline
  • Lower set ears
  • A broad chest
  • Short fingers and toes and narrow fingernails

Turner Syndrome can also be associated with a range of complications that can happen throughout childhood and adulthood. This includes cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure, hearing and vision loss, infertility, autoimmune diseases, skeletal problems, and mental health issues.

Turner Syndrome is diagnosed at birth, or prenatally. In some cases, it will be diagnosed later in life if signs and symptoms are less pronounced. If there is suspected Turner Syndrome present, a doctor can order genetic analysis to determine if there is a missing X chromosome.

Since there is such a wide range of symptoms and complications caused by Turner Syndrome, treatment will be individualized for each child. The most common form of treatment is hormone therapy consisting of both growth hormones and estrogen. These can help to promote both height and development of reproductive organs and the breasts.

Above all, a proactive approach that involves regular checkups and monitoring can help identify and address complications early on. By committing to treatment and a healthy lifestyle many girls with Turner Syndrome are able to live well-adjusted lives.

Child Care Tips for Turner Syndrome

If your child has been diagnosed with Turner Syndrome, there are a number of important steps you can take to ensure the best possible outcome for their growth and development.

Because proactive monitoring is critical to minimizing the risk of complications, the number thing to do is to never miss a check-up or scheduled appointment. Doctors and specialists know what issues and problems to look for and how to test for them. By diagnosing potential heart, kidney, and reproductive problems early, your child can have the best chance of overcoming them.

Additional tips for child care with Turner Syndrome include:

  • Always reach out to your doctor about any problems, as it is always better to err on the side of caution
  • Take medications only as prescribed and directed, and tell your doctor before taking any new medications
  • Girls with Turner Syndrome are at a higher risk for bone disorders, make sure your child gets enough calcium and vitamin D to promote bone health
  • Exercise
  • Family support and mental health care are key — a loving environment and counseling from an early age can help address mental and behavioral health obstacles that often arise in Turner Syndrome

In many situations, pediatric home care is a critical part of a successful child care plan for Turner Syndrome. An experienced home care aide who understands the needs of children with conditions like Turner Syndrome can interface with your family to provide seamless care and support for busy schedules and complex family arrangements.

Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care in Florida

It can be hard to balance your time between work, home, and caring for a child. That’s why our team of professionals at Care Options for Kids is here to help. We have been enforcing precautionary measures and following the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19 to ensure the safety and health of our clients and employees.

Our home health care services offer support in the comfort of your home. We refer loving and competent nurses to provide customized care for families — from a few hours a day to around-the-clock supervision. Contact us directly to speak with a home health care professional or request a free in-home assessment. Together we can determine the best plan of action to keep your loved ones happy and healthy.

If you or a loved one are considering Pediatric Home Health Care Services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today at (888) 592-5855.