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October 18, 2002

Good Life: In Health & Fitness

From: Poughkeepsie Journal, NY
Oct. 18, 2002

Check baby's hearing

Babies born in New York state can have their hearing checked as part of a statewide hearing screening program. But hearing problems can develop throughout childhood. So it is important to check your child's hearing later on and be aware of the signs of hearing problems, which can often be misinterpreted.

''Teachers or other care providers may think a child with a hearing loss is not paying attention or is autistic,'' according to Beverly Allyn, early intervention program coordinator of the Dutchess County Department of Health.

Hearing problems in children can be temporary or permanent. Some hearing problems are easy to solve, such as a buildup of ear wax, which a health care provider can remove. Other hearing problems may require hearing aids or other types of intervention.

Allyn noted that sometimes the cause of hearing loss is unknown. Other times it is caused by deafness, which runs in families, ear infections, meningitis or other serious infections.

For more information about checking your child's hearing, call the Growing Up Healthy Hotline at (800) 522-5006.

Copyright © 2002, Poughkeepsie Journal.