10 Things Parents Want To Know About Newborn Screening
- Newborn screening is important for your baby's health! It's a simple test to check for a number of rare disorders.
- Babies with these disorders may look healthy at birth. Many problems cannot be seen.
- Finding them early could help your baby avoid illness, mental disability, physical disability, and even death.
- All babies are tested twice. The first test is 1 or 2 days after birth at the hospital. The second test is done 7 to 14 days of age at the doctor's office or clinic.
- A few drops of blood are taken from your baby's heel and put on a blood spot card. The card is sent to the state laboratory.
- The test results go to the birth hospital or your doctor. They will call you if any problem is found.
- Some babies may need more tests. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO GET THE NEW TESTS QUICKLY IF YOUR DOCTOR RECOMMENDS THEM.
- The lab stores the blood spot cards for up to 2 years. They may be used to ensure laboratory tests, equipment, and supplies are working right and to develop new tests. The Department of State Health Services may use them to study diseases that affect public health.
- If you give your OK, the blood spot cards will be stored for up to 25 years, and may be used for public health research outside of the Department of State Health Services. You, the parent or guardian, decide what the lab does with your baby's blood spots after testing by completing and sending in a decision form. The decision form will be given to you when the blood spots are collected. Your baby's information stays private and secure no matter what you decide.
- Talk to your baby's doctor if you have any questions. You also may call to speak to a nurse at: Newborn Screening Unit 1-800-252-8023 ext. 3957 or call 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7333 to ask about blood spot card records.
View the 10 Things Parents Want to Know about Newborn Screening pamphlet. (PDF)