Throughout your child’s early years, their hearing will be regularly reviewed.
When is your child’s hearing checked?
All new born babies in the UK are offered a hearing screening test. It’s normally carried out in hospital before you are discharged home. If you’ve had a home birth or been discharged early, then you’ll be invited into hospital for it. The results are recorded in your child’s personal child health record (Red Book).
Your school nurse or health visitor will ask about your child’s hearing at appointments and refer for a hearing test if necessary.
How can you tell if your child could have a hearing problem?
You may be concerned that your child has hearing problems, for example if they:
- show inattentiveness or poor concentration
- don’t respond when their name is called
- talk loudly and listen to the television at a high volume
- have difficulty pinpointing where a sound is coming from
- mispronounce words
- start to show a change in their progress at school
- have recurrent ear infections
Possible causes of hearing loss
Some possible causes of hearing loss that may be detected during routine tests include:
- glue ear – a build-up of fluid in the middle ear, which is common in young children
- infections that develop in the womb or at birth, such as rubella or cytomegalovirus, which can cause progressive hearing loss
- inherited conditions, such as otosclerosis, which stop the ears or nerves from working properly
If you have any concerns about your child’s hearing, you can request a test at any time. To arrange a hearing test you can either:
- Speak to your GP
- Speak to your health visitor or school nurse
- Speak to any other healthcare professional involved in your family’s care
- Speak to your child’s teacher or the school’s special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
- Contact your local Audiology department