Although the month of September is coming to a close, it’s never too late to recognize the importance of getting newborns screened. A recent article on The Baby Sleep Site notes that even when a child looks and acts healthy, they could potentially have a life-threatening disorder or illness. Disorders such as blood, metabolic and heart disorders may not show signs for days or even months after birth.
Newborn screening involves a “heel stick” where the baby’s heel is pricked, drops of blood are collected, smeared on a card and used to detect genetic disorders that may not have any visible symptoms. In comparison to the screenings performed decades ago, screenings today detect up to 30 diseases while some states screen for as many as 50.
While newborn screenings are still evolving and growing, each state varies in its requirements. A set of national standards issued in 2010 can be found here and screening standards by state can be located on the National Newborn Screening & Genetics Resource Center’swebsite.
BMWK– What health precautions have you taken with your newborn(s)? What advice can you share with other parents?