4 Things to Know About Kids’ Hearing Loss

Kids by nature have short attention spans and become frustrated when having to pay attention for long periods of time. It’s not uncommon for them to show their feelings through their actions, such as tantrums or being stubborn. Health experts say these behaviors could be signs of hearing loss. Here are four things parents, caregivers and teachers should know:

1. Listening skills – Kids tend to tune out things they don’t want to do or hear, such as reminders to pick up toys, eat their vegetables or get ready for bed. But when offered a cookie or frozen treat, most kids quickly tune in. However, if a child consistently doesn’t respond, this could be a sign of a hearing problem. It’s important to contact your doctor for an evaluation.

2. Common symptoms – Children with hearing loss usually display these traits:

  • Doesn’t hear whispers or soft sounds.
  • Responds when looking right at you, but not if you talk to him or her from the side or from behind.
  • Rarely sings or dances to music.
  • Doesn’t talk much. Uses fewer words than other children his or her age or speech is difficult to understand.
  • Turns one ear toward the person speaking, which may indicate hearing is better on one side than the other.

3. Temporary causes – Colds, allergies, excessive earwax or infections may plug up the ear canal, making it difficult for kids to hear conversations and sounds. Some problems may be treated with over-the-counter medications, but others require a visit to the doctor to clear up the problem. Once healed, hearing should be normal.

4. Permanent hearing loss – A variety of factors such as family history, genetic syndromes including Usher and Down, complications during birth, or infections and medications used during pregnancy may result in a child’s permanent hearing loss. Many hospitals test infant hearing at birth, but sometimes hearing loss becomes evident several weeks or months later. Early diagnosis is important to treat and manage hearing problems as kids develop.

Learn more about hearing loss by reviewing these blogs:
The Impact of Hearing Loss on Speech
Protect Kids’ Hearing for Ultimate Academic Success