Hearing loss in children
Is your child suffering from hearing loss? Most children can hear perfectly fine. However, 1 to 3 newborns in 1000 are born with hearing loss in one or both ears, and 10 to 20% of childhood deafness occurs at a very young age.
Detecting hearing loss soon
The first years of life are crucial to a child’s development of communication, which is why a hearing problem must be detected as early as possible. Undetected hearing loss can lead to delays in language and speech acquisition and to social difficulties. Early hearing tests can minimize the negative effects of hearing loss.
How can you tell if your child has hearing loss?
Every child is unique and develops differently. However, delayed acquisition of certain communication skills often indicates hearing problem. Several signs point to an issue with hearing, including if the child:
- Often asks people to repeat themselves;
- Mixes up or mispronounces certain sounds;
- Does not respond to his or her name;
- Asks to turn up the volume on the television or radio;
- Does not turn around or react when addressed from another room or from behind;
There are many different symptoms that may signify hearing loss. For a complete list of deafness indicators or if you are concerned about your child’s hearing, don’t hesitate to consult an audiologist.
Helping your child with hearing loss
Several communication strategies can make daily life easier for a deaf child. These tips can also help parents communicate better with their children. Here are a few of them:
- Teach the child to always look at the person speaking;
- Encourage the child to ask people to repeat what was said if he or she did not understand;
- Parents should stand in a well-lit place facing the child when speaking to him or her;
- Keep ambient noise to minimum or move away from noise sources that may interfere with the child’s ability to understand a conversation.
These are just a few tips to help children with hearing loss and their family and friends. During a consultation with an audiologist, the hearing health professional will make other recommendations that are specific to the child’s needs.
To make an appointment with an audiologist, find the clinic nearest you.