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Newborn screening program

Couple with baby

Information for Families

Congratulations if you have just had a baby join your family! The California Newborn Screening Program (NBS) is a public health program that screens all babies for many serious but treatable genetic disorders. All babies born in California are required to get screened soon after birth.

Newborn screening began in California in 1966 with screening for one disorder, phenylketonuria (PKU). The Program has expanded and now includes 80 different disorders, both genetic (passed down in families) and congenital (present at birth). The goal of the program is to identify babies with these disorders early, so that treatment can be started right away.

The content within these pages is meant to be informational, and should not replace the care provided by your baby’s doctor. Make sure to talk to your baby's doctor if you have any questions about your baby’s health or your family history.​​

Newborn Screening: Important Information for Parents trifold ... (English and Spanish, PDF) ... English and Simplified Chinese (PDF)

Newborn Screening IIP Trifold Thumbnail

Newborn Screening: Important Information for Parents trifold in all languages:

For more information on newborn screening, including the hearing test, the congenital heart defect screening, as well as the blood spot screening for rare disorders, see the flipbooks below, provided by Expecting Health and Navigate Newborn Screening.

Newborn Screening Program Overview Videos

​English Video
​Spanish Video
​Blood Spot Video

Title: California Department of Public Health's Newborn Screening Program

Language: English

Published: 7/2/2018

Duration: 3:23

Title: Programa de Detección de Recién Nacidos de California

Language: Spanish

Published: 7/2/2018

Duration: 4:17

Title: Important Facts about My Baby's Newborn Screening Blood Spot Storage

Language: English

Published: 1/18/2019

Duration: 3:00

Program Resources

Education Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

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