"The American Academy of Pediatrics celebrates today's signing of the
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Act into law as a legislative victory for the youngest among us, reauthorizing a critical federal program that provides hearing screenings for newborns, infants and young children.
"Every day, about 33 babies are born with hearing loss, making it the most common congenital condition in the United States. Since hearing and learning language are closely linked, infants and children who have an undiagnosed hearing loss are at risk of not receiving the language stimulation they need, which can have a serious impact on development. Universal screening helps identify infants with hearing loss, which means that pediatricians can act right away to give families the tools and understanding they need to support their child's growth and development.
"Upon its signature into law, the
EHDI Act will help ensure children diagnosed with hearing loss can receive the interventions they need as early as possible. The new law ensures that young children can access hearing screening programs, improves access to appropriate follow-up and intervention services and recognizes the 'medical home' as central to hearing screening – all of which were policy improvements championed by the Academy and work to strengthen an already successful program.
"Pediatricians applaud lawmakers for working across both sides of the aisle to advance this important legislation, including Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) who led these efforts. The Academy looks forward to the successful continuation of the programs authorized in the
EHDI Act and stands ready to help ensure all newborns, infants and young children can access the hearing screenings and interventions that are essential to their development."
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 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. For more information, visit
www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.