Hearing loss is a very real issue for children today. Learning how to prevent hearing loss in children is crucial to helping keep this vital sense intact for your child!
Assuming that your child does not have a genetic hearing loss or a significant unexplained hearing loss….there are steps that you can take to protect your child’s hearing!
How to Prevent Hearing Loss in Children
Screenings are Critical
Your child will probably have their first hearing screening soon after birth. It is standard procedure for newborns to be screened in the hospital. If for some reason your infant is not screened at birth be sure to ask your Pediatrician about a screening during your baby’s first 3 months of life.
Your child should see a Pediatrician each year for a well-child visit. This visit should include a hearing screening. This helps give a baseline for how your child hears. The physician will be able to see a pattern year to year and will notice if your child’s hearing is deteriorating.
Prevention is Crucial to Preventing Hearing Loss in Your Child
Understanding that hearing loss can be irreversible is the first step in recognizing the importance of prevention! Did you know that a single shot from a shotgun at close range can permanently damage your hearing in an instant?
Excessive noise exposure over time leads to permanent hearing loss. Noise exposure for children may seem harmless, but it is actually doing a lot of damage. Listening to loud music, a loud TV and using earbuds and headphones are causing long term issues in children!
Parents can monitor the noise level of music and television. You can also monitor how long earbuds and headphones can be worn and at what level the volume is turned up to. Did you know that there are apps available to help you control the volume so your child isn’t listening to an extremely loud volume?
Volume Sanity is an app for the iPad that allows parents to control the volume. There are also ways to use Parental Controls on cell phones and iPods to control the volume!
Teach Your Children About Hearing Loss
Helping your children understand what hearing loss is and how fragile their hearing can be is imperative to your child taking ownership of their own health!
Ultimately, we want our children to make wise decisions about their health. When we understand how valuable our health is, we take better care of ourselves! Children can take ownership of their hearing and make smart decisions too! Knowledge can be very powerful in preventing hearing loss!
Try a Hands On Lesson About Hearing Loss
To help your child understand the consequences of hearing loss try doing a quick activity. Take some earplugs and put them in your child’s ear. Then tell your child to go on with their every day activities, but they have to leave the ear plugs in. When they try to watch TV and can’t hear it….when you ask them a question and they can’t hear you…it will start to make hearing loss more real to them. It will help them realize how valuable their hearing really is!
Find out the truth about earbuds and if your child’s hearing is at risk by reading Part One of this series!
Author’s Note: The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.