5 questions genetics about child health

Genetics is a relatively new science, but it provides a wealth of information about a child’s health. Parents have many factors to consider if they want to raise their baby strong and healthy.

Genetic test for a child

The doctor may advise parents to consult with a geneticist and test them in different situations. Quite often, such a need arises when a child is sick for a long time, and it is not possible to find an effective treatment strategy, or it is difficult to make a diagnosis. And parents may think that as a result of these studies they will receive accurate information about what exactly can improve the health of their child, get a specific scheme. Such expectations will inevitably be disappointed – genetics can only talk about probabilities in this case. So is a genetic test generally needed, especially a detailed one?

The test is not a panacea for all diseases. The human genome has been decoded, but humanity has not yet learned to use this information fully – research continues. However, a genetic test can tell parents which risk groups the baby belongs to , the risk of developing which diseases is most likely for him. This will not guarantee that the child will definitely develop these diseases at some period of time, however, the parents will have the necessary information on what preventive measures to take to protect the health of the baby. Also, important information will be data on the individual assimilation of certain drugs, which will facilitate the treatment of the crumbs. 

It will also be recommended to carry out a genetic test as early as possible for the baby, for whose health there are special reasons to fear in advance. These can be children whose parents are over 35 years old, or they have entered into a consanguineous marriage. The same applies when the mother has taken strong drugs or chemotherapy treatments before and during pregnancy. It is also worth undergoing examination for a child born from a pregnancy that was preceded by miscarriages and premature birth. In this case, it is better to check in advance the prospects for the development of the crumbs in order to understand how to maintain his health if necessary.  

Different blood type of parents

Questions about blood type and Rh factor are most often asked during a consultation with a geneticist. Parents can be perplexed if a child is born with indicators that are not characteristic of either the mother or the father. In fact, this situation is quite typical and has the simplest explanation. Information about recessive and dominant genes is now included even in the school curriculum. The human genome carries not only those data that are clearly expressed in the carrier, but also a latent predisposition. This is a kind of memory of generations – not only the obvious properties of his parents, but also data from distant ancestors can indulge in a child. It is enough to study the history in more detail in order to find the carrier of those genes with which the baby was born.

Hereditary health of the baby

Parents may be concerned about the child’s heredity if there are cases of pathological addictions, alcoholism and drug addiction in the family history in the first place. Alas, here a consultation with a geneticist is unlikely to help. So far, no precise tests have been developed that help with any representative accuracy capable of determining the propensity for the emergence of dependence on certain substances. Even experts themselves do not yet welcome such research for ethical reasons.

Alcoholism and drug addiction cannot be considered purely hereditary factors; rather, these diseases have a social origin. A complex combination of numerous psychological and domestic factors can lead to alcohol abuse and drug use by a person from the most prosperous family. Conversely, if parents set themselves the task of protecting the child from addictions, they are quite capable of doing so regardless of family history. This will require a healthy microclimate in the family, and a high level of child’s basic trust in parents, which arises from warm family relationships.

Hyperactivity and ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a phenomenon that has been highlighted quite recently, but many families have already had to deal with it. And their number is growing, because it is more likely to inherit a propensity for ADHD in inheritance than in any other way. 60% of children who were diagnosed with this were born in families where at least one of the parents has similar problems. It’s just that not many modern moms and dads had the opportunity to get such a record in the medical record. This, of course, does not mean that the child of parents with ADHD is doomed to have this syndrome, and social and psychological factors play an insignificant role here. However, if parents are aware of their problems, this is a reason for them to think in advance about the line of raising the baby and be ready to work on the situation.

Various diseases of children

Sometimes parents are confused by the phrase “no, this is not a hereditary disease, but a congenital one.” Is it really not the same thing – after all, we are talking about what the child was born with. In fact, these are two completely different concepts. The baby receives congenital diseases as a result of the impact on health of negative factors during the prenatal period. That is, the original genetic material – the sperm and the egg – did not contain abnormalities with which the baby will be born in nine months.  

With hereditary diseases, the situation is different – in this case, the child receives pathological genes from the parents at the stage of conception. The disease can manifest itself at any time – in a youthful or even adult form. The insidiousness of the situation lies in the fact that the future parents themselves may be healthy, the defective gene may remain hidden, but it will pass to the baby. That is why genetic testing is recommended for all responsible parents before conception. This is especially true for those who have had people suffering from chromosomal diseases in their family history.

Leave a Reply