Health screenings are the best way to keep ourselves healthy. Everything from regular blood pressure checks to colonoscopies helps our physicians evaluate, prevent, diagnose and treat conditions that impact our quality of life.
Health screenings begin for your child just moments after they are born. In Illinois, comprehensive screening of newborns began in 1965 and now includes more than 40 conditions. By taking a few drops of blood from Baby’s heel, we can identify conditions as early as possible. This gives your Alzein Pediatrics healthcare provider the information needed to intervene quickly, helping Babygrow develop positively. Let’s look at how you, as a parent, can improve your child’s health screenings starting at birth.
The Next Big Thing in Blood Tests for Newborns to Improve Your Child’s Early Health Screening
Newborn blood testing screens for:
- PKU or phenylketonuria is a metabolic disorder that can cause brain damage if not treated immediately
- Biotinidase deficiency, when your child cannot recycle the vitamin biotin
- Amino and urea cycle disorders alter how your baby’s body removes waste and can cause brain damage
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia affects your child’s hormones regulating sexual development and immunity
- Congenital hypothyroidism affects growth, brain development, and metabolism
- Cystic fibrosis damages the lungs, pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestines
- Fatty acid oxidation disorders, affect the metabolism
- Galactosemia affects how your baby processes simple sugar
- Lysosomal storage disorders, cause a build-up of toxins in Baby’s cells
- Organic acid disorders, affect enzymes that aid growth and learning
- Severe combined immune deficiency, a condition that is fatal within the first two years of life
- Sickle cell disease inherited blood disorder that causes pain, infection, acute chest syndrome, and stroke
Another Way to Improve Your Child’s Early Health Screening is to Check Your Baby’s Hearing and Heart
Your newborn is also tested for hearing loss and critical congenital heart disease.
Newborns in Illinois will also get an injection of Vitamin K. This prevents Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB) which happens when a Baby doesn’t have enough Vitamin K to form clots. While VKDB is rare, it is fatal or causes long-term serious brain damage. Preventing VKDB is easy, so all newborns are treated with a boost of Vitamin K at birth. The American Academy of Pediatrics affirms that without Vitamin K injection, babies are “80 times more likely to have VKDB.”
Being born can expose a Baby to bacteria that cause serious eye infections that may lead to blindness. Because of this, all babies born in Illinois receive antibiotic eye drops after birth. Erythromycin is usually used.
Giving your newborn the healthiest start is a top priority of Illinois hospitals and course, for all of us here at Alzein Pediatrics. If you are concerned about newborn screenings and testing, we are always happy to answer your questions. Please call our office at 708-424-7600 or visit Our Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn/95th Street, and Urgent Care locations.