HEARING CHECKS FOR 0-5 YEARS RETURN TO NORTH BURNETT

A MUCH-NEEDED early intervention service is back again after being shut down by the COVID pandemic for several months.

The free service provides hearing checks for babies and children aged from birth to five years of age, and received a warm welcome from the community when it was launched early in 2020.

“This initiative is delivered by IWC in partnership with Hearing Australia, and it directly addresses the important social issue of hearing issues among children,” said IWC North Burnett Manager Jenni Toogood.

“Hearing issues can affect a child at any age, and is critical to speech and language development, communication, and learning.”

IWC has continued its popular Midwife sessions during the pandemic, taking extra measures to protect both mum-to-be and staff.

“While our clinic is now open again, and some transport is available, many of the health-related restrictions and procedures we have in place will remain for the foreseeable future,” said Ms Toogood.

“We are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing our of our team and our community, while trying to keep up a steady flow of the vital Multidisciplinary Care services that so many people rely on.”

IWC is non-government, Aboriginal community-controlled and a Registered Charity, providing services to all people – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – as it works to deliver Reconciliation in Action.

Ms Toogood invited parents or carers of babies and young children to sign up for the free service.

Importantly, no GP or other health professional is required for parents or grandparents to access the free service.

“Self-referral is encouraged,” said Ms Toogood. “All you have to do is book an appointment, which takes around half an hour.

“The checks involve IWC Health Professionals and a qualified Hearing Australia-provided Audiologist carrying out some non-invasive checks which will enable immediate identification of whether a baby or child needs to be referred to an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) specialist.”

IWC has for years been delivering hearing and health checks to primary and secondary students at the 18 schools in North Burnett. These are also being held again, with additional health precautions in place.

“Through these hearing and health checks in schools, many issues have been identified and children and teens referred by IWC to an Audiologist, and from there to an ENT Specialist for treatment,” said Ms Toogood.

IWC General Manager Wayne Mulvany said: “We cannot take our foot off the peddle around the health and wellbeing of our communities, and we are here in good times and in bad. Delivering early intervention services such as this will continue to have long-term benefits for families across the region.

“Timely treatment gives children every opportunity to succeed at school, and in other areas of their life, which might otherwise be denied them if they have a hearing impediment.”

Call 1300 492 492 (1300 IWC IWC) or 4161 4800 to book an appointment or find out more.

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