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February 17, 2003

Hearing loss; Playground risks

From: Capital News, NY - 17 Feb 2003

By: Megan Baker

Do you think your children may have hearing loss? A recent study in the American Academy of Pediatrics indicates a significant hearing loss is present in one to six per 1,000 newborns.

Most children with congenital hearing loss have hearing impairment at birth and are potentially identifiable by newborn and infant hearing screening. However, some congenital hearing loss may not become evident until later in childhood. Hearing impairment also can be acquired during infancy or childhood for various reasons. Infectious diseases, especially meningitis and otitis media, are leading causes of acquired hearing loss.

Early detection of hearing loss and appropriate intervention within the first 6 months of life can prevent adverse consequences and facilitate language acquisition.

In other news, are your children at risk for cancer on the playground? Playground equipment made of wood treated with arsenic could increase the chances of your children developing lung or bladder cancer.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, most wood playground equipment now in use has been treated with a pesticide called chromated copper arsenate. Children can get this residue on their hands.

It is recommended that parents wash their children's hands with soap and water after playing on this equipment. The safety agency will hold a meeting next month to consider a ban on the arsenic-based preservative in playground equipment.

Copyright ©2003 TWEAN News Channel of Albany, L.L.C d.b.a. Capital News 9