While Walk In Sunshine places an emphasis on assisting families who have lost children from two weeks gestation until they are 18, one part of our mission is to also keep children healthy during their infancy, so they can reach maturity and adulthood. There are nearly 4 million babies born in the United States every year, and some infants are born with serious conditions.

While immunizations and vaccines are a great way to start your child, by administering these four types of tests, you can keep a good track of their health picture for years to come.

1. The Heel Test

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Simply a blood test to determine blood type, it is important to administer this test 24 - 48 hours after your child is born. Typically, a medical professional will not ask whether or not you want to complete this test, it will just happen. The test is administered by a doctor or nurse pricking the child heel and sample a small amount of blood. Studies show that children are less likely to be upset when held by a parent, so this is encouraged by medical staff.

2. Hearing Test

While it may seem alarming that your child will hear loud noises at such a young age, this test is actually administered while a baby is sleeping and the noises are quite low. There are typically two types of hearing tests, the Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) Test, and the Auditory Brain Stem Response (ABR) Test. The OAE test is given to determine whether certain parts of a baby’s ear respond to sound. If these parts don’t respond, that’s an indication of hearing loss. On the other hand, the ABR test can help evaluate the auditory brain stem and the brain’s response to sound.

3. Pulse Oximetry Testing

This type of test is done to determine how much oxygen is in the blood. Infants who have heart problems may have low oxygen so this test can go a long way in determining the cause of potentially something serious. Like the other tests, this is done 24 hours after the child is born and only takes a few minutes.

In determining the full picture of your child’s health, it’s important to opt into these kinds of tests. They are covered by most insurance plans, and they allow medical professionals to determine if your baby is sick. For more resources on newborn baby health, visit our website, https://walkinsunshinecharity.org.