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Birth Defects Prevention Month

National Birth Defects Prevention Awareness Month

2015: 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 2015 National Birth Defects Prevention Month  is "Making Healthy Choices to Prevent Birth Defects-Make a PACT for Prevention."   NBDPN's goal for 2015 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 for the complete Birth Defects Prevention 2015 packet .  This packet 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.

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

National Folic Acid Awareness Week

Jan. 4 through 10, 2015 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) has available resources here and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) has excellent resources here as well general folic acid information and resources for outreach efforts and education for the public here.

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 12/17/2014