Being born with or developing hearing problems can be a complex scenario if they are not treated in time, and for that reason you need to be able to recognize the warning signs.
At birth and during the first few years of life, hearing is a fundamental sense in children’s development that aids their early social exploration, emotion management and cognitive learning. However, one in every 1,000 babies is born with diminished hearing, which can lead to significant learning delays and difficulties when speaking or learning language.
If detected in the first three months, it is a defect that can be treated. In general, before being discharged from hospital newborns take a hearing screening test but, according to the website Kids Health, in some cases “the problem doesn’t manifest itself until a later stage of childhood, so it is important to evaluate children’s hearing regularly when they are growing”.
Nevertheless, treatments for hearing loss can be more effective if they are started before the age of six months. Specialized hearing aids adapted to the child’s needs are generally used to amplify sounds and overcome the problem.
Evaluate hearing loss and know its symptoms
Observing the body language of babies is vital in recognizing whether they have hearing difficulties. Behavior such as moving their eyes, turning their head or waving their hands in response to sound stimuli can be positive signs. According to Kids Health, children should reach the following milestones in their first year of life:
- Most breastfed newborns are startled or “alarmed” by sudden loud noises.
- At three months, babies can usually recognize their parents’ voices.
- At six months, breastfed babies can generally look or turn their head towards the place where a sound comes from.
- It is common for infants to be able to imitate some sounds and say a handful of words, such as “mom” or “bye”, by the age of 12 months.
Read also: How to treat microtia