September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month

Protecting your child from potentially treatable diseases is vital if you are expecting parents or new parents. Newborn screening identifies conditions that can affect a child’s long-term health or survival.

Get the Facts

Newborn screening is a public health program that tests spots of blood from all newborns for certain conditions that are not noticeable at the time of birth but can cause serious disability or even death if not treated quickly.

Infants that develop conditions may seem perfectly healthy and frequently come from families with no previous history of a condition.

Early detection, diagnosis, and intervention can prevent death or disability and enable children to reach their full potential.

Each year, millions of babies in the U.S. are routinely screened, using a few drops of blood from the newborn’s heel

Babies are screened for certain genetic, endocrine, and metabolic disorders, and are also tested for hearing loss and critical congenital heart defects (CCHDs) prior to discharge from a hospital or birthing center.

The National Institutes of Health states, “Using a few drops of blood, newborn screening detects a treatable condition in about 1 in 300 babies born each year, a total of about 12,500 cases each year.”

Take Action

Screening occurs within the first 24 to 48 hours after delivery. A “heel stick” provides blood drops that are collected on sterile, absorbent filter paper.

Most states also include a hearing test in newborn screening.

Many states measure the amount of oxygen in a baby’s blood to identify infants who need to see a heart specialist immediately.

Some states require a second blood test to ensure accuracy when an infant is ten days to 2 weeks old.

When you are thinking about getting a screening test, talk with your health care provider.

Find out what the test is like and how the test may help your child.

Ask what further testing and follow-up will be needed if a screening test result shows a possible problem.


Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or click here to contact us.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

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