Newborn Screening

The Children’s Health℠ Newborn Screening Program, in partnership with the Texas Department of State Health Services, strives to ensure that every baby in Texas receives the benefit of early diagnosis and treatment for the conditions detectable on the state metabolic newborn screen.

What is Newborn Screening?

Newborn metabolic screening involves collection of a few drops of blood in order to screen for various treatable conditions. Every baby should be screened initially between 1 and 2 days of age and subsequently between 7 days and 14 days of age.

What to expect after a Newborn Screening?

The Children’s Health Newborn Screening Program works with the Texas newborn screening system to provide short-term follow up after a baby is found to have a positive screening result by:

  • Coordinating in-house laboratory testing through the Metabolic Disease Laboratory at Children’s Health to provide rapid results, usually within 48 hours
  • Coordinating sent-out tests, as needed
  • Providing specialist review of state-recommended follow-up labs
  • Holding a weekly Newborn Screening Clinic for cases requiring additional testing
  • Providing a Transition to Metabolism Clinic for continued care when a diagnosis is made

What are the prep instructions before a Newborn Screening?

Make the most of your child’s Genetics appointment by preparing ahead of time. The following can be very helpful:

Research your family history

This should include (at minimum) your child’s brothers and sisters, first cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. You will be asked questions at your visit about any history of developmental delay or learning problems, children born with any type of birth defect (such as cleft lip or a heart defect), any women in the family with multiple miscarriages, and any conditions which appear to be running through the family (such as cancer or heart disease at a young age)

Obtain any helpful medical records

If your child has seen a geneticist before, or has had any prior genetic testing, we will need a copy of those medical records and genetic test reports. If any of your family members has had positive genetic testing for a genetic condition, we will need a copy of their genetic test report.

Bring a family photo

This will help the geneticist with his or her physical exam as they examine your child’s facial features.

Newborn Screening Doctors and Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I make an appointment for my child?

    Ask your child’s pediatrician to make a referral to the Genetics clinic by faxing a demographics page, insurance information and a recent clinical note to 214-456-2567. If you have any other questions, our clinic schedulers can be reached at 214-456-2357.

  • Where is the clinic located?

    Children’s Health Specialty Center Dallas Campus, Clinic F4200, 4th floor. Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to allow for registration and paperwork. Specific driving directions and parking information can be found on this page.

  • What if I’m going to be late?

    We understand that unexpected things can happen, but please make every effort to be on time to your appointment. If you know you are going to be late, please call and let us know at 214-456-2357. Since other families need to see the same providers, showing up more than 20 minutes late may require the appointment to be rescheduled.

  • How long does an appointment last?

    You will need to plan to be at clinic at least three hours for the first visit to meet with all the professionals available (clinical nurse specialist, social worker, genetic counselor, parent volunteer and therapists). Bring toys, snacks, games and books your child might enjoy.

  • What is a physician and clinical nurse specialist?

    A physician or clinical nurse specialist gathers medical history information, completes physical exams, make referrals, order lab tests, complete forms and writes letters to primary health care providers to summarize the visit.

  • What is a genetic counselor?

    A genetic counselor discusses chromosomes and genetic recurrence risk, gathers family history information and answer questions about inheritance.

  • What is a social worker?

    A social worker provides information regarding community resources, short-term counseling about developmental concerns, school needs issues and sibling and family adjustment issues, as well as behavior management.

  • What is an occupational therapist?

    An occupational therapist (OT) provides a brief evaluation of skills, including fine motor, visual motor and self-care skills, as well as advice about new and continuing therapies.

  • What is a speech therapist?

    A speech therapist provides a brief speech-language evaluation, oral-motor feeding skills, education on home strategies, and what to expect from speech-language or feeding therapy. The therapist may make a referral for a follow-up outside of our clinic, as appropriate.