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10 Fingers , 10 Toes, 10 facts about Newborn Screening that You need to KNOW

  • Today's post is brought to you  by Kristi from Baby Food Steps. She is a mom on our consumer task force who is passionate about newborn screening. Make sure to check out her 10 things you need to know and the video she created with her son!

    1. Newborn screening is available for every new born baby in the United States.

    2. Newborn screening is performed soon after the birth of your baby, and in most cases, while you are still in the hospital.

    3. Newborn screening is actually 3 types of screening- 1) blood spot screening for metabolic, blood and hormonal disorders 2) hearing screening for hearing loss 3) pulse ox screening for congenital heart diseases.

    4. Newborn Screening is currently available and recommended by the US Government, for nearly 60 disorders.

    5. But, not all babies will be screened for all of the nearly 60 disorders. It depends on where your baby is born. There is variability in the number and types of conditions found on each state’s newborn screening panel, which is determined by each state's legislation and public health departments implementation of testing.

    6. Supplemental newborn screening is available for these disorders if your state does not test for all of them, but you must request this additional screening and work with your pediatrician to have it done on your baby.

    7. Most of these infants appear perfectly healthy (with 10 fingers and 10 toes!) at birth and come from families with no history of the disorder

    8. Most affected babies identified through newborn screening who receive treatment early, grow up healthy with normal development.

    9. Newborn screening has been around for nearly 50 years, since the PKU test was developed in the 1960's to test for the metabolic disorder called phenylketonuria.

    10. Newborn Screening SAVES babies lives...each and every day. A treatable condition will be detected in ONE in every 300 babies born. But, if these conditions are not caught early enough, often times the damage is irreversible- resulting in mental retardation, autism, and even sudden death (SIDS).

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