Heel prick test and hearing test

The heel prick and hearing test screen your baby in the week following the birth. Early detection of a disorder can prevent or limit damage to health.

Heel prick

In the first week after the birth, blood from your babies heel is collected and then examined in a lab for a number of rare diseases. Early detection can prevent or limit damage to your baby’s health. These diseases can’t be cured but can be treated with, for example, medicine or a special diet. If the heel prick shows your baby has a rare disease, you will be referred to a paediatrician. An employee of the Youth Health Centre (Jeugdgezondheidszorg – JGZ ) of the Municipal Health Services (Gemeentelijke Gezondheidsdienst – GGD) will conduct the heel prick at your home between four and eight days postpartum. The tests will be explained to you and you will be asked to give permission to conduct the heel prick.

If the results of the test are good, you will not be notified (no news is good news). If the test is abnormal, showing any special condition, you will receive a notification and your family doctor will contact you as soon as possible. Your family doctor will guide you through possible further testing.

For more information visit the website of RIVM

Hearing test

The hearing test is normally done at home in the first week after the birth. The test takes only a few minutes and is painless. Results of the test are usually known immediately.

Good hearing is important. A child with impaired hearing, for example, has speech development problems. The sooner hearing problems are detected, the sooner your baby can be treated. The hearing test is often done during the same visit as the heel prick.

You can find more information about the hearing test on the website of the RIVM.