Monday, March 15, 2010
Newborn Hearing Tests
Photos - My daughter Emma born in Dubai in 2003 and now in Grade 1
One of the most amazing and important events of infancy and early childhood is the development of language. Babies start to say their first words around one year of age and by preschool age they usually know more than 1500 words and begin telling stories. The language skills developed during the preschool years serve as a wonderful foundation for learning in school.
When a baby is born with a hearing loss, this process of developing language can be delayed. Early screening helps reduce the delay in language development a child with hearing loss may experience, by ensuring the child and their family receives the support and professional care they need.
Your child is never too young to have a hearing check. The BC Early Hearing Program provides simple and safe screening tests to check hearing after birth. Newborn hearing tests are important for families, because much can be done if hearing loss is caught early in a baby’s life.
About 1 of every 300 babies in BC is born with hearing loss. This number rises to 1 in 50 for babies born in Special Care Nurseries. There are no obvious signs to tell us which infant has hearing loss, and without early screening, many babies with hearing loss go undetected until they are young children or school age.
Over half of all infants diagnosed with hearing loss are healthy and have no hearing loss in the family or other risk factors for hearing loss.