QUICK TEST: Father Kevin Gregan with baby Isaac and WBHHS healthy hearing co-ordinatorMichelle Chapman and Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson.
QUICK TEST: Father Kevin Gregan with baby Isaac and WBHHS healthy hearing co-ordinatorMichelle Chapman and Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson. Contributed

New, fast hearing test for bubs in Bundaberg

BUNDABERG babies will be among the first regional newborns screened for hearing loss in as little as 12 seconds thanks to a $1.1 million statewide rollout of new screening equipment under the Healthy Hearing program.

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson popped over to Bundaberg Hospital to launch the program and check on baby Isaac, pictured, who certainly wasn't bothered by his experience with the new Accuscreen device.

She joined the Bundaberg Family Unit team to view the new devices and spoke to parents and staff involved in the first few screenings.

The new devices are a big upgrade from the older Algo3 or 3i technology, which could take up to seven minutes to perform screening.

Tests often had to be restarted due to the baby moving and, if there were several attempts, screening could take up to half-an-hour.

Research shows early hearing loss detection and intervention by the age of six months is critical to speech and language development.

The Healthy Hearing Program will be rolled out across the state, with Hervey Bay staff also being trained to use the devices.

Every year as many as 100 Queensland babies may be born with serious hearing problems.

If hearing problems are detected early, and treatment begins before babies are six months old, they have a stronger chance of heading off future communication, health and learning problems.



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