In the realm of topics that parents feel uncomfortable talking to their kids about, there are many that garner the unmistakable plunge of awkward into the stomach, such as sex, drugs and alcohol, relationships, religion, politics, violence, and personal health issues. There may be one that you haven’t thought of: hearing loss.
How often do you get your own hearing checked? How often do you make sure that your child’s hearing is checked? Just as annual preventative health visits, such as physicals and vision exams, are a priority, hearing checkups with a hearing healthcare professional should be too. A slight change in hearing capability can be noticed from a regular checkup, and it can save you and your child a lot of stress in the long run.
Demonstrating your own approach to regular hearing checkups and emphasizing the importance of maintaining hearing health are two of the best things you can do to prepare your child for a lifetime of awareness and proactive methods of preventative care. Here are some tips for the conversation:
- Emphasize the fact that personal health is important to talk about
- Talk about some tips to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, such as keeping music volume low and wearing hearing protection at concerts or in very loud environments
- Motivate your child to take personal responsibility for future appointments (this is one that will vary with age)
- Explain that hearing loss is nothing to be ashamed of
- Give the topic of hearing loss some context by naming famous people with hearing loss and explaining how they embraced it, didn’t allow it to stop them from achieving their dreams
Overall, the best thing you can do during the conversation is make your child feel comfortable and confident. If hearing difficulties are experienced in the near or late future, your child will be empowered to take charge of his/her own first step to getting answers and treatment.
Learn more about hearing loss in children:
Last Updated: May 30, 2014