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All About Your Infant- Newborn Screenings & SIDS

September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month and October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. And that means that Kids First Pediatrics is sharing helpful information all about your infant this fall.

What you need to know about Newborn Screening Tests

Newborn screening aims to identify infants who may look healthy but who have a rare health condition that if untreated may cause serious harm or may even be life-threatening. Simple tests can uncover health issues that should be treated as soon as possible to give children the best possible chance for healthy growth and development.

Newborn screening tests usually are performed when babies are one to two days old. If your baby is born in a hospital, testing will probably occur before you go home. If you're planning to deliver at home or in a birthing center, or you leave the hospital in less than 24 hours, Kids First Pediatrics can help you schedule these tests.

Newborn screening tests are done in 3 parts:

  1. Blood test. A health care professional will draw a few drops of blood from your baby's heel, which will be sent to a lab for testing. Results are usually ready by the time your baby is five to seven days old.

  1. Hearing test. Using tiny earphones and special software, the medical team will check to see how your baby responds to sound.

  1. Heart screening. This test is used to look for heart conditions known as critical congenital heart defects, or CCHDs. A simple test uses a method known as pulse oximetry to check the level of oxygen in your baby's blood.

What you need to know about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

You’ve given birth, your newborn has undergone a Screening Test and you are back home settling in. Now it’s time to keep your baby safe. shares that SIDS is the unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. Most of these deaths occur while babies are sleeping.

Research suggests that SIDS may be caused by defects in the part of an infant's brain that controls breathing and the ability to wake up. If a baby is not getting enough oxygen, it is important for the baby to wake up. This is probably why stomach sleeping is dangerous. Babies who sleep on their stomachs sleep more deeply, and it's harder for them to wake up if they are not getting enough oxygen. While experts are still working on understanding the causes of SIDS there are some things every parent and caregiver can do to reduce risk:

  • Clear the crib of all toys and blankets - Always put your baby to sleep on their back

  • Make sure your baby sleeps on a firm, flat surface

  • Keep your childs room at a comfortable temperature, as overheating has been linked with higher SIDS risk

  • Sleep in the same room as your infant

The National Insitute of Child Health and Human Development has a great program called Safe to Sleep to help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

Kids First Pediatrics is here for any questions you may have about your newborn and how to keep your infant safe. Feel free to give us a call. Raleigh:(919) 250- 3478, Clayton: (919) 0 267-1499.


*This article is informational but is not a substitute for medical attention or information from your provider.


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