Saturday, January 2, 2010

I’m as Fit as a Fly

Shalom Yeladim:
Did you have your swine flu vaccination? I brought you a sign showing how kids in Israel are learning about the swine flu. We’re part of the worldwide effort to get vaccinated. In fact, I just had my Khisun – that’s vaccination in Hebrew, against Shapat Khazirim – which means swine flu. When my turn came I hardly felt it, and now I’m as fit as a fly. You know it’s a good thing they don’t call it the “fly flu”. That would be really confusing. Speaking of which, I flew by Israel’s Ministry of Health this week and I heard some interesting news. Listen to this: as of January 1st – which means just a few days ago, all newborn babies in Israel will have their hearing checked for free within 48 hours after being born. Isn’t that unbelievable? There’s a reason why the Israeli government has decided to pay for this check-up. Doctors in Israel have found that 3 out of every 1000 kids have hearing problems. They’re determined to find out who has hearing difficulties as soon as possible. It turns out that hearing is the most important way to get babies to react when they’re very little. It’s our hearing that helps us learn how to speak and develop our brain power. Now that all babies will be tested, babies with hearing problems will have a hearing aid attached to their ear from the time they are one month old so that they will be able to develop like all the other babies.
I understand that people in England say “Hear, Hear!” when they like something and that Americans say “Let’s hear it for…”. I like the idea of a baby hearing test, don’t you? Let’s all say “Hear, Hear!” “Let’s hear it for the hearing doctors in Israel!”
I could be really punny and say “Le’HearTraot.” But I don’t want you to groan, so I’ll just say: Le’Hitraot. See you in 2 weeks.

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