Many Parents Not Aware Of Newborn Hearing Screenings

~ Posted on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 11:55 PM ~

I was just reading an article recently stating that many parents can't remember if their children were tested for hearing loss at birth. In fact, for our case, only our 3rd child had gone through the hearing test.

I can confirmed our older 2 kiddos did not require any hearing tests at the time of their birth. Maybe the policies changed since then but before 2013, our kiddos did not go through any hearing screenings. Also, I can remember this happening to our 3rd child as she had to go through the tests twice as the first one done a day after her birth produced weak results (suspected weak results due to amniotic fluid in one of her ears) and we were given a later date (I think when she was 1 or 2 months old) to come to the hospital for subsequent test just to make sure everything was fine.

I remembered our baby lying down on the bed with a headphone and the nurse looking at the computer and I could see some graph lines shooting up and down as she pressed some buttons at interval times. Thank God she passed the test at the second round!

Diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss at birth is critical to lowering the risk of impaired speech, language and literacy later in life, write the researchers in JAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. "When babies are born, parents are accustomed to counting fingers and toes and asking about vaccinations, but they also need to be educated to ask if their baby passed the hearing test," said Dr. Melissa Pynnonen, the study's lead author from the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.

Newborn Hearing Screenings

Hearing loss is the most common health condition at birth in the U.S. Each year about three of every 1,000 children are born with moderate to profound hearing loss, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The most intense period of speech and language development occurs during the first three years of life, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Also, the brain builds the needed pathways to understand sound during that time. 

Among parents with children at high risk for hearing loss due to jaundice, being premature, using antibiotics for infection or being admitted to the intensive care unit, only about 69 percent remembered hearing screenings. Parents should know that most babies who fail their hearing screenings will go on to have normal hearing. "So don’t panic just yet if you get an abnormal result, but make sure you follow up," she said.


What about your child? Do they have any hearing screenings after birth?

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