BAY CITY (WJRT) - (10/02/17) - It's something every newborn has done at the hospital before they go home. Hospital staff use ink and paper to create a record of the baby's unique footprint.
Most parents use them as keepsakes in baby books, but they can really do much more.
Footprints can be used for identification if a baby goes missing, is abducted or is separated from its parents in a natural disaster.
Now, McLaren Bay Region has new technology that makes the practice easier, cleaner and longer-lasting.
"It's nice that there's no clean up involved. So we can wrap that baby right back up and hand baby to mom," said Lori Skrzysinski, the O.B. Unit manager at McLaren Bay Region's Family BirthPlace.
The technology is called CertaScan and it creates digital footprints in a matter of seconds.
"It's definitely more reliable, it's a high definition footprint," Skrzysinski said.
The Newborn Safety System was rolled out Sept. 14. Other hospitals in the McLaren family to use CertaScan include Mt. Pleasant, Lansing and Petoskey.
Newborn Cobi and his mom Shaneequa can use the digital print for his baby book or something many parents don't want to think about.
"We think it's a forever gift that we can give our parents that this is a biometric marker that can be used for a lifetime for identification purposes," Skrzysinski said. "Usually mom and dad get one set of footprints, but what's nice about his new system is that they can access those footprints forever now."
The digital footprint could be used by police to positively identify a baby. "They can contact CertaScan and they'll run the prints and be able to tell the police what hospital the baby was born at," Skrzysinski said.
Cobi was one of 49 newborns who have been scanned with the Newborn Safety System since McLaren Bay Region started using it.