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Happy Birthday to Baby’s First Test!

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    Happy Birthday to Baby’s First Test!

    —Genetic Alliance’s Program Educate and Empower Families & Health Care Providers During National Newborn Screening Awareness Month

    WASHINGTON, DC (September 11, 2012) Baby’s First Test — the nation's educational resource center for newborn screening celebrates its first birthday during Newborn Screening Awareness Month this September. 

    Newborn screening is one of the most successful public health programs in the United States. Nearly 4 million babies are screened every year.  This September we pause to celebrate this incredible program and it’s power to offer health care providers critical screening tools that impact the lives of families.

    Baby’s First Test informs and empowers families and health care providers throughout the entire newborn screening experience.  BabysFirstTest.org offers millions of newborns and their families a chance at a healthy start.  State-by-state, condition-by-condition, this site is an essential tool for expecting parents and clinicians alike. The site features information on the screening process, specific conditions, and where to go for more information and help.

    “Newborn Screening Awareness month helps to heighten the public’s awareness of the newborn screening process,” said Natasha F. Bonhomme, project director of Baby’s First Test.  “Baby’s First Test guides families through the steps of newborn screening, providing the right information at the right time because families deserve to know about their child’s health, and every baby deserves to be healthy.” 

    More than 1 in 300 newborns have a condition detectable through newborn screening and 98 percent of all babies born in the U.S. go through newborn screening after 24 hours of life.  All it takes is a heel stick (a few drops of blood from the heel), hearing test and, in some states, pulse oximetry to screen for conditions.

    Currently, all states require newborn screening for at least 26 health conditions.  The federal government recommends screening for 31 conditions.  Most affected babies identified through newborn screening who receive treatment early grow up healthy with typical development. 

     "I applaud Baby’s First Test on its first year of success,” said Scott M. Shone, PhD, research scientist 1 and program manager for the New Jersey Department of Health.  “Since its launch, Baby’s First Test has provided critical information and resources about newborn screening at the local, state and national level.  Baby’s First Test is one of the resources I offer to parents seeking information on newborn screening.”

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