State Agencies | Online Services
 

Birth Defects Prevention Month

National Birth Defects Prevention Month

2016: Making Healthy Choices to Prevent Birth Defects - Make a PACT for Prevention

Birth defects affect one in every 33 babies born in the United States and are a leading cause of infant mortality. Babies who survive and live with birth defects are at increased risk for developing many lifelong physical, cognitive, and social challenges. Medical care and support services only scrape the surface of the financial and emotional impact of living with birth defects.

Each year, the month of January is designated National Birth Defects Prevention Awareness Month.  This annual campaign is promoted by the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and throughout Ohio. The network assesses the impact of birth defects upon children, families, and health care; identifies factors that can be used to develop prevention strategies; and assists families and their providers in secondary disabilities.

The theme for 2016 National Birth Defects Prevention Month is "Making Healthy Choices to Prevent Birth Defects-Make a PACT for Prevention."  NBDPN's goal for 2016 is to continue to increase awareness that birth defects are "Common, Costly and Critical" and to offer actionable steps that can be taken by professionals, community groups, and the public to prevent birth defects.  Click here to view the whole packet, which contains educational information for legislators, health professionals and the general public. Many of the resources may be reproduced or ordered without a cost or with a low cost.  Also, individual resources in the packet are available here.

Visit the Ohio Department of Health's Birth Defects Prevention Web page for more information on birth defects prevention strategies.  Materials and the evaluation form for Ohio are available here.

Additional information about preventing birth defects can be found here.

National Folic Acid Awareness Week

January 10-16, 2016 is National Folic Acid Awareness Week.  Adequate folic acid intake is important for the prevention of birth defects and good health in women of childbearing age.  The National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) and Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) both have excellent information about folic acid and resources for outreach efforts and education for the public.

Additional questions about National Birth Defects Prevention Month or National Folic Acid Awareness Week can be sent to:  Norma Ryan at norma.ryan@odh.ohio.gov or at (614) 752-9523.

Updated 01/11/2016.