The National Institutes of Health reports that 2 or 3 of every 1,000 children have hearing loss in one or both ears. But how do you know if your child is one of the small percentage who has hearing issues? Dr. Colin Driscoll, a Mayo Clinic head and neck surgeon, says that parents and caregivers should watch for certain milestones of development.
“Kids are supposed to start babbling. They babble from the beginning. They should continue to babble, and then they should start developing some words. And, so, if they’re not doing those things, then we should test the hearing,” says Dr. Driscoll.
Some of the other things you might notice if your child has hearing loss include:
- Not responding to your voice
- Not responding to softer sounds
- Not reaching normal speech and language milestones
Dr. Driscoll says that most cases of hearing loss in young kids are caused by ear infections.
“Treatable, reversible in the vast majority of cases,” says Dr. Driscoll.
But some kids may have hearing loss that requires interventions such as hearing aids or cochlear implants.
“If you have any concern whatsoever, get a hearing test. It’s painless. They’re readily available. Do the testing,” says Dr. Driscoll.