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AAP Policy Statement Urges Pediatricians to Take Lead in Ensuring Infant Screening, Diagnosis and Intervention for Hearing Loss

A revised policy statement from the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH; seven organizations, including the AAP) recommends that pediatricians take the lead in ensuring that all infants are screened for hearing loss by age 1 month, diagnosed with hearing loss by 3 months, and engaged in full intervention services by 6 months. Since 2000, when the JCIH first recommended that all infants be screened for hearing loss, the number of screened newborns dramatically increased from 38 to 95 percent. However, almost half of the children who failed hearing screening tests did not receive appropriate, timely follow-up care. And yet medical and specialized intervention during the first year of life is needed to enhance the speech and language development of infants with hearing oss. "Year 2007 Position Statement: Principles and Guidelines for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs," recommends that pediatric offices, typically a child's first medical home, ensure timely screening, diagnosis, and coordinated medical and educational care for infants with hearing loss, optimally beginning at a newborn's first office visit. Ongoing surveillance of developmental milestones at each visit, and an objective, standardized screening of global development is recommended at ages 9 months, 18 months, and between 24 and 30 months, and/or anytime a doctor, medical professional, or parent is concerned about hearing loss.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

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