4 Signs Your Child Needs a Hearing Test
There are some things that parents can immediately and easily identify as being amiss in a young child – for instance poor eyesight if their vision isn’t clear and they find it difficult to see objects, words in a book clearly or a cracked bone if their child is limping or complaining of pain in their foot or a food allergy if their child always reacts negatively to a particular food item.
However, identifying hearing loss can be a tad more complicated, as the signs are not always in black or white. So, here are four signs to look out for that could mean your child needs a hearing test.
As an Infant
Yes, you read that correctly, you can even look out for signs of hearing loss in an infant. Even if your newborn passes the initial hearing screening, there are chances that he or she can experience hearing loss at a later stage. Here are some baby milestones that can guide you – if your baby isn’t crossing these milestones, you might want to consider doing another test to double check:
- Most newborns startle or jump when they hear a sudden loud noise.
- By around three months, babies should be able to recognize and respond to their parents’ voice
- 6-month-old babies can usually turn their eyes or head towards a sound.
- By the time your baby is a year old, they should be able to imitate common sounds and say a few basic words like mama, papa, bye-bye or other short-syllable words.
As a Toddler
As your baby grows into a toddler, signs of a hearing loss may include:
- Your toddler can hear and respond to some sounds but not all sounds
- Limited or no speech
- Difficulty learning new things and responding to basic questions
- Hears the television at a higher volume
As a Preschooler
Sometimes, parents fail to see the signs of hearing impairment when their child is in the baby or toddler stages, because it can be quite a grey area. However, when a child reaches school-going age, it can become more apparent to identify hearing loss.
Here are some signs to look out for at this stage:
- Delayed or unclear speech and limited vocabulary for a child of that age. Keep an eye out for undeveloped speech patterns.
- Unable to follow basic instructions and simple directions, parents and teachers sometimes label the child as disobedient or having an attention deficit disorder.
- Hearing the TV on a very loud volume all the time
As a School-Aged Child
Sometimes, hearing loss can be overlooked during the initial years. Or, perhaps, could have developed at a later stage owing to an untreated infection or other cause. Here are some signs to look out for in a school-aged child, to see if they require a hearing test:
- A sudden fall in their grades: Again, most parents and teachers attribute this to the child not paying attention in class or not studying when in fact it could just be a case of them not being able to clearly hear what the teacher is saying.
- Child keeps asking you to repeat what you said
- Your child moves one ear forward when listening, as if finding it difficult to hear what is being said; or says that he can only hear from one ear or his good ear.
- Besides hearing the TV on a loud volume, your child listens to music on their headphones on a loud volume as well.
So, what should I do next?
Fear not, in case your child does experience hearing loss, there are plenty of new-age options to assist them. Visit a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) and they can guide you and help you find a hearing aid that suits your child. There are plenty of styles available in the market now – some that are so minute and aren’t even visible to the naked eye – so you and your child will be sure to find something that you’ll like and fits in well with your child’s lifestyle.
To learn more about Armand's Hearing Center, call us at: Bradenton: 941-748-9800 and Sun City: 813-938-1148.