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Deafness Research Foundation Drawing Contest: 'It's a Noisy Planet: What Are You Doing to Protect Your Hearing?'

New York, Feb. 23 - In celebration of Better Hearing and Speech Month in May, Deafness Research Foundation (DRF) announces a drawing contest for children and tweens ages 5-7 and 8-12, and teenagers age 13-18. The theme of each drawing is "It's a Noisy Planet: What are you doing to protect your hearing?"

This contest will raise awareness about the need to prevent hearing loss and how to protect hearing. Artwork must be received by April 16. Three finalists will be selected from each age category and voted on by the public online during the weeks of April 19 and 26. Winners will be announced on May 3 on DRF's website.

Winners receive a framed certificate and their artwork will be printed in the summer 2010 issue of DRF's quarterly magazine, Hearing Health.

Children are often exposed to noises that can reach harmful levels and durations, and may result in Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 17% (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss; more than 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous levels of noise on a regular basis; and NIHL is 100 percent preventable.

The mission of DRF is to attain a lifetime of healthy hearing and balance through quality research, education, and advocacy. Since 1958, DRF has distributed over $24 MM for research and has given over 2,200 research grants. DRF's funding has resulted in significant contributions to the cochlear implant, auditory research, surgical therapy for otosclerosis, and developments towards hair cell regeneration.

DRF partnered with the NIDCD's "It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing" campaign to increase awareness among parents of children ages 8 to 12 about the causes and prevention of NIHL. Adults can encourage children to adopt healthy hearing habits before and during the time that they develop listening, leisure, and working habits.

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