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Florida Newborn Screening Bill Signed Into Law: What Does It Mean For Babies?

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Credit MGN Online
The Florida Channel

Florida pediatricians will be able to test babies for more diseases under a new law signed by Governor Rick Scott.

Senator Lauren Book sponsored the legislation, and says this law will improve family health.

“Newborns and newborn families will have an opportunity to be healthy and safe, which is wonderful,” she says.

Book says several diseases the federal government recommends to screen for were not being done in Florida prior to this law, and she believes families suffered a lot of unnecessary heartache.

Following birth, Florida pediatricians will take a blood sample with a simple heel prick and test for several diseases. Tallahassee Pediatrician, Dr. Louis St Petery says that early detection is critical for developmental health.  

“Early detection is really the name of the game, and that’s what newborn metabolic screening is all about. And what this law does is just allow Florida to keep totally up to date with new tests that have become available to screen for diseases that children are born with, which their parents wouldn’t otherwise be aware of,” he says.

St Petery says it is important to detect these diseases early so patients receive proper treatment in a timely manner.

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Jocelyn Beever