Did you know that approximately five out of every 1,000 children have a hearing impairment, or that 25%-35% of kids with hearing loss in even just one ear risk failing a grade level?
Children learn a great deal through visual and auditory cues, so it’s imperative that their hearing and vision is checked regularly to help them reach their full potential.
We recommend that parents schedule a hearing test with an audiologist annually or at least every two years for the family – especially if your child has/had speech delays and/or learning disabilities. At the very least, we’d like to arm parents with the most common signs to watch for in school-aged children. These include:
- Frequently turning up the TV, computer, phone or tablet
- Having difficulty with phone conversations
- Responding to questions inappropriately
- Watching others closely to mimic their actions
- Asking “what?” or “huh?” more often that what is normal for your child
- Not responding when you call their name
- Complaining of frequent earaches or headaches
- Withdrawing academically or socially
Of course, every child is different. And, every parent knows their child best. But, if your child is experiencing two or more of the signs above and you have even the slightest hunch that it could be their hearing, please schedule a hearing screening with your family doctor or an audiologist! In the meantime, parents can help by:
- Reducing Noise Exposure! - More than 5 million youth ages 6 to 19 have permanent hearing damage due to noise, one of the most preventable causes. Reducing noise from everyday devices, such as personal electronics, gaming systems, the car stereo, and the family TV, and providing hearing protection in noisy environments (e.g. concerts, firework shows, parades, loud stadiums) can help dramatically. A general rule of thumb for earbuds and headphones is if you are standing next to your child and can hear the noise, it’s too loud.
- Talking to the Teachers/School - Teachers and administrators are crucial to helping kids hear their best during the school day, with classroom seating arrangements, loop systems, closed captioning, and other supportive options. They can also help identify possible signs of hearing loss if it’s suspected.
We are here to listen and help! We offer free screenings, so if you suspect your child has a hearing loss, please contact us!