It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of hearing loss in children, especially young children. Even temporary hearing loss, such as that caused by a loud noise or chronic middle ear pathology, can go beyond childhood and negatively affect your child’s hearing into adulthood. Hearing loss can also impair your child’s normal speech development, so it’s important to get your child treated as soon as possible if you suspect hearing loss. Here are some of the common symptoms and causes of hearing loss in children and teens.
Signs and symptoms of hearing loss in babies and young children
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises if your baby or child of any age shows any signs of hearing loss, make an appointment immediately with your pediatrician to determine the source and start a course of treatment.
For example, if infants don’t startle at a loud noise by one month of age, turn toward a loud noise, or notice you until you enter their line of vision by three to four months of age, they may not hear properly.
In toddlers and even young children, a main warning sign for hearing loss is speech delay. Often, children are hard to understand or only repeat certain sounds. Children with hearing loss may not hear clearly enough to mimic sounds properly for speech. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, if you notice your child does not use the quieter speech sounds of “s,” “sh,” “f,” “t” and “k,” there may be a hearing difficulty. Children with a hearing problem may also speak too loudly, or not loud enough, indicated by different types of hearing loss.
When school-age children don’t always respond when called upon, hear some sounds but not others or if there are problems at school, a hearing screening is in order.