Deficiency or lack of thyroid hormone secretion during fetal development. In infants it is characterized by breathing difficulties, jaundice and hoarse crying. See Jaundice. Infants diagnosed and treated before age 3 months usually grow and develop normally. If left untreated, child will suffer irreversible mental retardation, stunted growth and bone and muscle dystrophy.
Hypothyroidism is one of the most common of endocrine disorders in childhood. Lacking one specific target organ, thyroid hormones play a role in the biologic processes of essentially every organ's system. Newborns are screened for the absence of the thyroid gland, hypoplastic, or dysfunctional thyroid gland. Mental and motor retardation, short stature, coarse dry skin and hair, constipation, hoarse cry are among the symptoms. Treatment and management includes the replacement of the thyroid hormone L-thyroxine, maintenance of levels in upper half of normal range and monitoring of bone growth and development. (Prevalence 1:5,000-1-6:000, ethnic variation in prevalence -- 1:12,000 black, 1:1,000 Indian)
An inherited trait that results in reduced activity of the thyroid gland, generally due to reduced production of thyroid stimulating hormone. The trait results in a reduced base rate of the body's chemical reactions, tissue swelling and weight gain. It can cause neurological and development problems in affected children.