Our children are the center of our world. As a parent, any ailment or injury your child suffers is difficult to witness. It’s especially daunting when your child is afflicted with a condition you cannot see. Hearing loss affects approximately 30 in every 1000 school age children. This isn’t even counting the amount of infants and toddlers affected. General signs of hearing loss at any age include:

  • Not responding to own name
  • Listlessness/inattentiveness
  • Turns “good” ear towards source of sound
  • Unresponsive to loud noises
  • Unresponsive to your voice

While the above list may help you recognize an issue early on, a child’s age plays a major role in what other hearing loss symptoms you should be on the lookout for.

Signs to Indicate Hearing Loss in Your Infant/Toddler

Identifying hearing loss in infants and toddlers proves exceptionally difficult. Due to lack of verbalization, parents may have a hard time noticing indistinct symptoms, such as irritability or their baby emitting simple sounds that taper off. To accurately pinpoint if your infant or toddler is experiencing hearing loss, be on alert for the following symptoms:

  • Delay in speech development
  • Does not make vowel sounds by 2 months of age
  • Does not quiet at sound of familiar voices and sounds
  • Does not respond to own name by 12 months of age
  • Does not understand simple words/expressions by 12 months of age
  • Fever
  • Pulls/rubs ear, or somehow implies ear pain
  • More likely to respond to vibrating noises that can be felt, rather than those only heard
  • Unable to follow simple directions by 18 months of age

Signs to Indicate Hearing Loss in Your Child

Children currently enrolled in or set to start school should be reaching certain developmental milestones. If your child has trouble understanding speech/directions or is experiencing academic difficulties, this may be a sign of hearing loss. Keep an eye out for those, along with the following hearing loss symptoms normally found in school-age children:

  • Asks for television/music/electronics to be louder
  • Diagnosis of autism or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)
  • Difficulty understanding others
  • Rarely sings and/or dances to music
  • Speech is different than those similarly aged
  • Withdrawal from conversations/avoidance of social settings
  • Complains of earaches

Notating changes in your child’s health or behavior is crucial to detecting hearing related issues early on. If your child begins exhibiting the previously mentioned symptoms, please consult your family doctor. There they will be properly diagnosed and treated, or referred to an audiologist for further testing. The first years of your child’s life are extremely vital to their speech, language, and learning development. Your attentiveness today could help slow, stop, or even reverse hearing loss in your child, and ensure them a healthy, happy childhood.

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