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It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Birth Defects

Contact the Florida Department of Health

  • Every 4.5 minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect. Major birth defects are conditions present at birth that cause structural changes in one or more parts of the body. They can have a serious, adverse effect on health, development, or functional ability. 
  • In the U.S., one in 33 babies is born with a birth defect affecting about 120,000 babies each year.
  • A woman can take steps to increase her own chance of having a baby with the best health possible. Not all birth defects can be prevented.
  • Birth defects are one of the leading causes of death in children less than one year of age - causing one in every five deaths.
  • Effects of birth defects can range from mild to severe.
  • More children and youth born with a disability are living longer with improved medical treatments enabling the management of long-term health problems. A lifecourse approach allows planning across the lifespan to explore determinants of health and provide individuals, their families, and communities with guidelines to eliminate many of the barriers facing people with disabilities today.
  • Causes of most birth defects are unknown.

The Florida Birth Defects Registry (FBDR) is a statewide, population-based surveillance system that has identified birth defects in children born in Florida since 1999. The FBDR is operated by the Florida Department of Health, Division of Disease Control and Health Protection, Bureau of Epidemiology.

Florida Birth Defects Registry