Did you know that two or three out of every 1,000 newborns in the United States is born with hearing loss? Children can also lose their hearing during childhood.
Your child’s hearing plays a crucial role in their social, emotional, and cognitive development. Even a mild or partial hearing loss can affect your child’s ability to develop speech and language properly. It’s important to be proactive about your child’s hearing health in order to provide them with the resources necessary for success.
Recognizing the Signs in Your Infant
Even if your newborn passes their hearing screening, it’s important to continue watching for signs that their hearing is normal. As a parent, you may notice hearing loss in your child before anyone else does. Pay attention to your child’s reaction to loud noises and whether or not they can imitate sounds.
Here are some milestones your child should reach in the first year of life:
- Most newborn infants will jump or startle at a sudden loud noise
- By 3 months old they should recognize their parent’s voice
- By 6 months old they can usually turn their eyes or head towards a sound
- By 12 months old they can usually imitate sounds and say a few words, such as “Mama” or “bye-bye”
Signs of Hearing Loss in Toddlers
As your child continues to grow and develop it’s important to continue to monitor their hearing and developmental progress. Hearing loss can occur at any age, so it’s important to be proactive by watching for the signs of hearing loss in young children.
Signs of hearing loss in toddlers may include:
- They have limited, poor, or no speech
- They are inattentive
- Difficulty learning
- They need to have the TV at a higher volume
- They fail to respond to conversation-level speech
- They answer inappropriately to speech
- The don’t respond to their name
- They become easily frustrated when there is background noise
What Can You Do?
The key to managing your child’s hearing loss has everything to do with timing. The earlier hearing loss is detected and addressed, the better outcome your child will have. If you suspect your child has hearing loss, then you should visit a certified pediatric audiologist. They will be able to diagnose any signs of hearing loss and help you find the appropriate path to better hearing.
Be proactive about your child’s hearing health and schedule an appointment with your local pediatric audiologist today. They will be able to test your child’s hearing and find a solution that will help them hear their best.