Newborn screening is a 40-year public health initiative supported by every state health department throughout the nation. Early detection and treatment of inborn genetic and metabolic disorders, such as phenylketonuria (PKU), cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease, can prevent mental retardation and other life-threatening complications, helping to improve health and quality of life for many families and reducing the high cost of care for these conditions. The program also screens for early hearing loss which can have a significant impact on a child’s speech, language and social development. These conditions can occur in babies born to parents of any race or ethnicity, educational level or socioeconomic status. Afflicted children may initially appear asymptomatic, which is why all babies need to be screened.
NJHA’s Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey (HRET) developed a series of newborn screening resources targeting prospective parents and healthcare professionals, including:
- Video – Newborn Screening: Protecting Your Baby’s Health is a 12-minute closed-captioned video available in English and Spanish and copied in a 60-minute loop to facilitate its repeated showing in waiting areas and other educational settings
- Informational cards and brochures for prospective and new parents
- Poster – available in English, Spanish, French Creole, Arabic and Chinese – to be displayed in waiting areas, examination rooms and classrooms.
This project expanded HRET’s original “Bring Your Baby Back” initiative and was supported by grants from the March of Dimes New Jersey Chapter, the N.J. Department of Human Services - Office for Prevention of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services - Special Child, Adult and Early Intervention Services, Newborn Biochemical Screening Program.