Why it’s important to test your child’s hearing before school begins

Written by Hany Ghonaim, Audiologist

Nov 24, 2018

We have a habit of getting our children’s eyes checked, so why not their ears? A child who has a good sense of hearing allows for a better and strong development of their language as well as their social skills. An auditory issue can therefore have a negative impact in terms of education and academic achievement, as well as have a negative impact on psychological and social development. Taking control early and getting an auditory evaluation is therefore crucial if we want to prevent the negative consequences of deafness and hearing deficits on the global development of our children.

According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, 15% of school-aged children present auditory problems. In Ontario, it is estimated that 4 out of 1,000 children have an auditory deficit at birth or develop a permanent auditory deficit during their childhood.

Permanent auditory deficits in children are a relatively common and frequent anomaly, occurring in about 1 per 1,000 births. Deafness in children can be congenital (presents itself at birth) or acquired (after birth). For the first type, it is often linked to genetic factors, but it is important to be careful as these genes can skip generations. Acquired deafness can develop after an ear inflammation/infection, certain infections (meningitis), brain trauma, or toxicity caused by certain medications.

Studies have demonstrated that the best results in terms of academic and social development can happen if precautions are taken and the problem is addressed immediately in a precautionary matter.

It is thus important to do an auditory evaluation at the beginning of children’s academic year, or before if ever you doubt or have concerns about the audition of your child. Here are certain signs that your child should be seen for an auditory evaluation: repeated ear infections, your child doesn’t respond when called, your child often asks to turn up the volume of the TV, if you have to frequently repeat yourself, your child doesn’t listen properly to instructions, you find your child is out of it, etc., or if your child has already had learning or attention problems.

Do not hesitate to consult an audiologist at ODYO so that we can evaluate your child’s hearing and answer any of your questions.

Have a good school year and looking forward to meeting you!

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