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Las Vegas Urban League WIC Counselors Encourage Parents To Screen Newborns for Diseases
By: Nutrition Education Centers - WIC
Each year more than four million babies are screened at hospitals routinely through blood tests, hearing tests, and heart screening. These tests are essential to help identify several diseases that may not be evident at first but could become life-threatening over time.
Currently, 35 diseases are screened for as prescribed by the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP). These diseases have been recommended for screening by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA).
"With the help of these tests, diseases are detected in more than 12,000 infants annually," Semaj Bruce, WIC Breastfeeding Program Coordinator, said. "Some of these diseases include phenylketonuria (PKU), cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, critical congenital heart disease, hearing loss, and others. Screening should be done when a child is a day or two days old."
Newborn screening during September is important because it encourages parents to get all the required tests done to keep their babies safe and healthy. Research is being done on an ongoing basis to identify additional diseases that are a threat to newborn infants.
"WIC encourages everyone, not only parents, to spread the word that there are many diseases that are life-threatening for babies," Bruce said. "It's extremely important that infants be screened immediately to detect these diseases. Being aware that testing is essential is especially important for pregnant women."
For more information, visit the Urban League WIC at https://www.wiclv.org or its two convenient locations: 6480 W. Flamingo Road, Suite B, Las Vegas, phone (702) 227-1573 or 3320 E. Flamingo Road, Suite 50, Las Vegas, phone (702) 476-9561.
The Las Vegas Urban League Women, Infants, and Children Program is a 501c (3) program that is funded by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health.