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Deafness is often described as a 'hidden handicap'. Even children who are profoundly deaf may not be diagnosed until the second year of life, or later. By this stage, children have already "missed out" on the early sound input so necessary for their normal speech and language development and their future cognitive functioning.

The major complication of gastroenteritis in children is dehydration - a number of Australian children die each year because of dehydration caused by diarrhoea.

Most childhood fevers occur in response to infection (the majority being viral) and plan an important role in the individual's defence against infection.

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