There are nearly 32 million children worldwide with disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization. But more than half of those children have a hearing loss that could have been prevented, they claim.
A new WHO report, titled “Childhood hearing loss: act now, here’s how,” estimates that “40% is attributable to genetic causes; 31% to infections such as measles, mumps, rubella and meningitis; and 17% to complications at birth, including prematurity, low birth weight and neonatal jaundice. In addition, an estimated 4% results from expectant mothers and newborns unknowingly using medicines that are harmful to hearing.”
“What many people don’t realize is that good hearing is essential for enabling children to learn to speak and to develop at an appropriate rate for their age,” said Dr. Jerry Northern, Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Advisory Board Member of the Hear the World Foundation. “It is therefore crucial to inform parents all over the world and offer them concrete support.”
Tomorrow is World Hearing Day! Spread the word about ways to prevent childhood hearing loss and help break down the stigmas of hearing loss across all generations.
Are you a parent of a child with hearing loss? Learn more about hearing loss and how you can be an advocate for your child, and how hearing aids can help.