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Announcement: Better Hearing and Speech Month --- May 2010

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Hearing loss occurs in as many as three of 1,000 live births each year (1). Without intervention at an early age, hearing loss can delay a person's speech, language, and social skills development as well as academic achievement. Because of this, all infants should be screened for hearing loss no later than age 1 month, preferably before leaving the birth hospital (2). All states and territories now offer hearing screening for newborn babies. Any baby who does not pass the hearing screening should have a full hearing evaluation no later than age 3 months. Any child who has a confirmed hearing loss should be referred for further testing and should begin intervention services no later than age 6 months (2). Following this 1-3-6 months plan can maximize communication and language development for affected children (3,4). Additional information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/ehdi. Educational materials on newborn and infant hearing are available free of charge at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/ehdi/edmaterials.htm.

References

  1. CDC. Identifying infants with hearing loss---United States, 1999--2007. MMWR 2010;59;220--3.
  2. Joint Committee on Infant Hearing. Year 2007 position statement: principles and guidelines for early hearing detection and intervention programs. Pediatrics 2007;120:898--921.
  3. US Preventive Services Task Force. Universal screening for hearing loss in newborns: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Pediatrics 2008;122:143--8.
  4. Nelson HD, Bougatsos C, Nygren P. Universal newborn hearing screening: systematic review to update the 2001 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation. Pediatrics 2008;122:e266--76.


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