Children’s Hearing
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Many parents worry about their child’s hearing, especially when the child is too young to communicate verbally. Dr. Edward Hill talks about hearing evaluations for children in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Hearing is a critical part of a child’s development. Even a mild or partial hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to speak and understand oral language. The earlier hearing loss is detected, the sooner a child may be helped.

Most newborn infants startle or “jump” at sudden loud noises. By 3 months, a baby usually recognizes a parent’s voice. By 6 months, an infant should turn his eyes or head toward a sound. At one year, a child should imitate some sounds and speak a few words.

Hearing evaluation may be needed if a young child has limited or no speech; seems frequently inattentive; has difficulty learning; or has any signs of hearing loss, such as increasing the television volume.

Hearing assessment may be necessary if there are certain risk factors for hearing loss, such as childhood hearing loss in family members, complications at birth, frequent ear infections or infections such as meningitis.

If your child is showing any signs of a hearing problem, talk to your family physician or pediatrician.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.