How to Identify Hearing Problems in Young Children and Toddlers

Newborns undergo an extensive hearing test soon after birth. However, some types of hearing loss in children can occur over time. Acquired hearing loss can be neurosensory, conductive, or a mixture of the two. Because the ability to hear affects a child’s development, this article covers several methods of monitoring your child’s progress to make sure they have no hearing loss.

0-4 months

In the first months of life, the correct development of a child’s hearing is linked to reactions to loud noises. At this age, loud noises should make your child move and wake up. He or she should also be surprised if there is a loud noise nearby. At the same time, a familiar voice like that of the mother or father should calm the child. The baby should also smile and coo at the parents’ voices.

4-9 months

During this period of development, the baby must respond to familiar sounds. The eyes should look in the direction of the sound, or he or she can actually look in the direction of the sound. The child should notice rattles and other toys that make noise. He or she should also smile or respond when spoken to, and at this age start making chattering noises like an imitation. This is also the case when a baby learns the connection between hand movements and words like “goodbye”. Additionally, infants this age should use different types of crying for different needs.

9-15 months

Immediately after one year, babies babble with a variety of sounds and finally reach the first words like “ma-ma” and “da-da”. The child must respond to their name as well as to changes in the tone of the other. Simple verbal requests are understood and the baby should now be able to repeat the sounds. You will also find that the child uses their own voice to get attention.

15 months to 2 years

Now in toddler hearing development your child should point to familiar objects when named, listen to stories and songs, point to body parts when asked, and be able to name common objects. He or she should be able to follow simple instructions and put two or more words together.

Preschoolers and older children

The ability to identify hearing loss is a bit easier to identify in older children. Are you turning the TV up too high, not answering when called, or struggling to understand what people are saying? In many cases, they will answer questions inappropriately. Children with hearing loss often seem to speak differently from others their age and have difficulty articulating their language. They can observe and imitate others as a means of communication. If the child complains of earaches, earaches or other “headaches”, this may indicate hearing problems.

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