New Kids On The Block's Joey McIntyre has been busy helping spread the word about pediatric hearing loss.

The singer is the latest famous face to lend his support to Hear The World, a global initiative launched by hearing instrument manufacturer Phonak to raise awareness about the importance of hearing and the consequences of hearing loss. McIntyre also appears in the Hear the World public service announcement around the importance of pediatric hearing testing and early diagnosis.

After his son Rhys was born with severe hearing loss, McIntyre made it his mission to educate the public about the importance of early diagnosis, as well as solutions available to treat hearing loss in children.

“As a musician, music – and the ability to hear it – is the cornerstone of my life, so when my son was diagnosed with severe hearing loss, I wasn’t sure how to handle it,” said McIntyre. “Thankfully, because of today’s advanced hearing aid technology, I don’t have to worry about my son missing a beat. That is why I am honored to join Hear the World in their mission to educate the public about hearing loss and the solutions available to treat it.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, hearing loss is the number one birth defect in the United States – nearly 33 babies are born every day with permanent hearing loss, 1 in 1,000 have a profound hearing loss and another 2 to 3 in 1,000 have partial hearing loss. Children with hearing loss have increased difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communication skills, increased behavioral problems, decreased psychosocial well-being and lower educational attainment compared to children with normal hearing.

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