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Does age matter when thinking of NHS newborn screening programmes?

As I get older (no I am not going to tell you my age!) I would like to think that my experiences in life have made me wiser. Even so, sometimes a little guidance goes a long way.

We all use common terms like babies, infants and children and it can get confusing trying to put each of these into specific age groups.

If you are a health visitor or GP it can get even more complicated when you are faced with any pre-school child who moves into the area and you are not sure if they have had screening or what the screening results are.

It may be helpful to think of these children in 3 categories.

  1.  Infants up to and including 3 months old.
  2.  Infants older than 3 months and up to one year old.
  3.  Children over one year old.
Process chart showing the three different types of children. 1. Infants up to and including 3 months old. 2. Infants older than 3 months and up to one year old. 3. Children over one year old.
Use this flow diagram to easily put children into 3 categories.

One page summary: update

We recently updated and published a one page summary for healthcare professionals explaining which newborn screening tests can be offered at different ages if any of these were initially missed.

I work in an area where we have a fair amount of families who move in after birth including babies from overseas where screening may not have been completed or offered at all. I use this one page summary to help me remember which screening tests I should offer which babies

Judith Leaver, Health Visiting Team Leader, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

The summary page outlining the newborn screening offer to babies is very useful especially when I have a new starter to mentor or a student on placement with me

Julie Myers, Screening Link Health Visitor, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

You may also be interested in the one page summary for immunisation.

PHE Screening blog

PHE Screening BLOG articles provide up to date news from all NHS screening programmes – replacing our previously published newsletters.

You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blog articles.

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