How Can I Tell If My Child Has Hearing Loss?
Education and Advocacy All newborns in Ontario have their hearing screened while they are still at the hospital, but some hearing losses can happen over time or as the result of illness, infection or the side effects of certain medications.
All children develop at their own pace but trust your instincts and talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
“What can I do if my child has a hearing loss?”
90 percent of children with hearing loss are born to parents with typical hearing. It’s normal to feel shock but you are not alone; help is available.
Children with hearing loss can learn to listen and speak. Talk to your doctor about hearing aids, cochlear implants and other assistive devices and whether they could be of benefit to your child.
Get on your child’s level
Sit on the floor with them as they play and make eye contact as you speak. Plant the seeds of spoken communication.
You are not the only parent who has a child with hearing loss. Connect with other moms and dads through community organizations.
It is important to protect your baby’s hearing from birth.
- When playing video games, watching TV or listening to music, turn the sound down if the baby is in the room. (Loud sound systems aren’t good for your hearing, either!)
- Keep the car stereo at a low volume: a car seat is a confined space which can amplify sound
- Avoid playing DVDs in the car: the DVD’s volume will have to compete with the sounds of the road and the engine, which means an ear-stressing ride.
- Use protective headphones for sporting events and concerts
- Children’s toys can be incredibly noisy: some educational toys for babies blast sounds above 100 decibels – a level that can cause hearing damage within 15 minutes.
- Test the noise levels of baby toys and remember that their shorter arms mean that the sounds are even closer to their ears when they hold the toy.
- Did your baby get a hearing-unfriendly toy as a holiday gift? If it doesn’t have a volume control, put a piece of clear packing tape over the speaker to muffle the sound.
- Modern life is noisy! Being in continuous noise can affect your child’s hearing, so tune in to the sounds around your home and make every volume baby-friendly.