How can I tell if my toddler is having trouble hearing?

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How can I tell if my toddler is having trouble hearing?

29 December 2016
Health & Medical , Blog

It can be hard to tell in toddlers whether their failure to respond when you ask them to do something is a sign of an actual hearing problem or just a case of them testing boundaries and ignoring their parents. Here are some tips to tell if they are actually having trouble hearing. 

Ask your partner if they want to share some chocolate (or another yummy treat) from another room

If mum and dad sharing some chocolate gets your kid running, then they can probably hear just fine. Keep an eye on whether they run in the correct direction, though, as kids that have issues with one or the other ear can often hear some of what is said but may not get the directionality of the sound. This can be an issue when you ask them to 'come here' or similar requests, if they cannot easily identify where 'here' is. 

Equally, it's a good idea to check if your child regularly faces in a certain direction during a conversation or favours one side when listening to music or TV shows. 

Compare their speech to friends'

Speech development is closely related to the way that children hear. Not only will children with impaired hearing often have less speech than their peers, they will also usually have less comprehensible speech which makes it harder for them to communicate. This can result in a lot of frustration for parents and children so if this is something that you notice you should get your child tested for hearing problems as soon as possible. 

Try turning down their devices

Kids who are struggling to hear might crank the volume right up on toys or devices. Try turning down the sound and see if they can still use the devices comfortably, or whether they have to crank them back up in order to understand. Sometimes kids choose to turn up the volume simply to immerse themselves in their favourite shows, but they should be able to keep focus and enjoy playing with toys or watching their favourite show even at a lower volume.

If you are worried about your child's hearing you should get them a hearing test. It is a quick and painless procedure that can quickly identify any issues so that you can get your child any treatment that could help them to hear better. A doctor can write you a referral for a hearing test at a standard appointment.