September is a busy month for many families; it is back-to-school season after all. According to data from Statistics Canada, it is also one of the biggest months for births in the country! This makes September the perfect time for newborn screening awareness month, an initiative aimed at spreading the message about how newborn screening can help babies get the healthiest start in life.
Newborn screening is the testing of babies shortly after birth for treatable diseases that are not usually apparent in the newborn period. Although most babies look healthy at birth, they may be at risk of having serious health problems if they have a disease that is not detected and treated early. Early detection of these diseases through newborn screening prevents serious health problems and can even save lives. Newborn Screening Ontario, the program that coordinates newborn screening in the province of Ontario, tests for 29 diseases including metabolic diseases, endocrine diseases, Sickle Cell Disease, Cystic Fibrosis and Severe Combined Immune Deficiency. During September, Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO) is running a social media awareness campaign to increase the profile of the 29 rare diseases for which they screen.
Using their Twitter account, @NBS_Ontario, NSO will be dedicating each day of September to put a spotlight on one of the diseases screened. Information about the disease, importance of early detection, family stories and resources will be shared. As members of the newborn screening community, NSO encourages you to join the Twitter conversation (using the hashtag #NBSMonth of course!) and help spread information and awareness of the importance of newborn screening for these serious diseases. Together, we can help babies put their best foot forward!
Blog posts are written by both Save Babies Through Screening Foundation representatives and others not officially affiliated with the foundation. Posts do not necessarily reflect the views of SBTS. Posts are not medical advice. Please talk to your physician.