The above script is part of the
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) radio series 'A Minute for Kids,'
which airs weekdays on WBBM-AM in Chicago, IL.
Jaundice is a common condition in newborn babies. It appears within a few days of birth and makes a baby’s skin look yellow. Jaundice occurs when the chemical bilirubin, which is found in everyone's blood and removed by the liver, builds up. Most cases of newborn jaundice are mild and go away on their own. However, in rare cases bilirubin can increase quickly – leading to brain damage. To
prevent this, the AAP recommends that newborns are screened for
jaundice and its risk factors before they leave the hospital. The guidelines also suggest a follow-up visit when a baby is three to five days old, when bilirubin levels peak. Frequent breastfeeding in the first few days of life also is recommended. Frequent feedings help pass the excess bilirubin in the stools, which could become loose and green as a result. If you are concerned about jaundice, talk with your pediatrician.