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Earphones, music players on kids' holiday gift lists? Add a hearing screening
Date:12/10/2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Just yelling "turn it down" isn't enough when young people are blasting music directly into their ears via earbuds and headphones, parents say. A new poll from the University of Michigan shows parents are strongly in favor of required hearing screenings for kids all the way up to age 17.

The University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health recently asked a nationwide sample of parents of children 0-17 years old about whether they'd support requirements for hearing screening and where they'd prefer to have the screening done.

Overall, two-thirds of parents support hearing screening across all age groups. In the poll, 77 percent supported required hearing screening for 2- to 3-year-olds; 82 percent were in support for 6- to 7-year-olds; 71 percent for 10- to 11-year-olds; and 67 percent for 16- to 17-year-olds.

"Screening in preschool and elementary school-age children is routine in many states. That screening is very effective at identifying children with hearing loss that can impact communication. Screenings can help get children the treatment they need before they experience delays in speech, language, and learning," says Jaynee Handelsman, Ph.D., director of pediatric audiology for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

"What was surprising about the poll results was the overwhelming support for required hearing screening for older children and teenagers," says Handelsman.

"Hearing screening for tweens and teens is uncommon. However, as the parents in our poll recognize, children in these age groups may develop hearing loss as time goes on, possibly from extended listening to loud noise, such as through personal, portable listening devices like MP3 players," Handelsman says.

Handelsman says that the poll results are encouraging because they show parents recognize the need for continual screening. A student might pass the hearing tests as a kindergartener, but de
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Contact: Mary F. Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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