When a child is born, the first months spent with parents can be crucial for development. A bill in Florida’s House and Senate looks to give parents with a newborn paid time off from work – but not everyone is sold on it.

Sequencing a person's DNA is now a routine task. That reality has left doctors looking for ways to put the technology to work.

A decade ago, a top federal scientist said, "Whether you like it or not, a complete sequencing of newborns is not far away." Dr. Francis Collins, who made that statement, has been head of the National Institutes of Health for the intervening decade. But his prophecy hasn't come to pass, for both scientific and practical reasons.

In New Hampshire, there's no requirement that employers offer paid leave to workers who are caring for newborns or taking care of elderly parents.

Wendy Chase campaigned last fall for a seat in the state House promising to change that — and won.

"This is my first term, and I'm not a politician. I'm just a mom on a mission," she says.

Tampa Bay Times

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Maria RodriguezOregon Health & Science University and Jens HainmuellerStanford University

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

This story is first in our four-part series Treating the Tiniest Opioid Patients, a collaboration produced by NPR's National & Science Desks, local member stations and Kaiser Health News.

State Launches 'Born Drug Free' Initiative

May 10, 2013
Sarah Curran / WUSF News

While the fight against prescription drug abuse is nothing new to Florida, there's now a statewide initiative aimed at preventing babies from being born addicted to pain pills. 

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi , the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health and members from the Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns introduced the Born Drug Free Florida campaign today. Their motto: A Babies Life shouldn't begin with Detox.

In the developing world, a baby's first day of life is often the most perilous.

Roughly 3 million newborns die each year, the nonprofit Save the Children reported Tuesday. Most of these deaths occur in the first week of life, and more than 1 million babies pass away within 24 hours of being born.

Although the report calls for some big changes in health care systems to prevent newborn deaths, it also says that some simple, inexpensive things could save many lives.

Tampa Bay Times

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says researchers didn’t tell parents that their premature newborns would be at risk in a study involving the effects of oxygen levels, the Miami Herald reports. HHS says if parents knew the actual risks involved, they most likely wouldn’t have participated. The University of Miami was one of 23 universities that participated in the study.