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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
If your baby suffers from hearing loss, don't feel alone. The National Institutes of Health estimate that 12,000 babies are born each year in the United States with a hearing impairment. It is estimated that serious hearing loss occurs in about one to three of every 1,000 healthy newborns, and in two to four of every 100 babies in newborn intensive care units.
Most hearing loss is congenital (present at birth), but some babies develop hearing loss after they are born. Hearing loss is more likely in premature babies and babies with respiratory problems who have required long-term use of breathing machines, those with previous infections, and those taking certain medications.
Because of these risks, many health organizations including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommend universal infant hearing screening. This means all newborn babies should be screened for hearing loss. Most states have laws that require universal newborn hearing screening.
Beyond the newborn period, the parents may be the first to detect hearing loss in their child. Unfortunately, many children with severe hearing loss from birth are not diagnosed until 2 1/2 or 3 years of age. Other children—with a less severe hearing loss—may not be diagnosed until 4 years of age. Identifying a baby's hearing loss early helps the baby to learn language on time.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”