Hearing loss can happen to anyone and at any time, even toddlers.
If hearing loss occurs in toddlers, it can cause delays in important learning abilities. This is why you should also regularly check for signs of your little one’s speech, language and hearing development.
Unfortunately, the signs of hearing loss that are not noticed, often make parents unconsciously ignore this problem.
To increase parental awareness, here Thevolume.net has summarized the characteristics of toddlers with hearing loss. If you see these signs, consult a doctor immediately and don’t ignore it!
What Causes Hearing Loss in Toddlers?
Before discussing further what are the characteristics of hearing loss in toddlers, it is important for you to know what are the factors that cause hearing loss itself.
Reporting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hearing loss can occur at any time during life, from before birth to adulthood. Here are some things that increase the chances of a child having hearing loss:
1. Genetic causes
About 1 in 2 cases of hearing loss in infants and toddlers is caused by genetic causes. Some children with hearing loss caused by genetics may have family members who also have hearing loss.
About 1 in 3 children with genetic hearing loss have the “syndrome”. This means they have a condition other than hearing loss, such as Down’s syndrome or Usher’s syndrome.
2. Other conditions
1 in 4 cases of hearing loss in children is caused by infection during pregnancy, complications after birth, and head trauma. For example, child:
- Got infection, before birth
- Spending 5 days or more in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or experiencing complications while in the NICU
- Special procedures such as blood transfusions are required to treat severe jaundice
- Have a head, face or ears that are shaped differently than usual
- Have a condition such as a neurological disorder that may be related to hearing loss
- Having an infection around the brain and spinal cord called meningitis
- Got a severe head injury that required hospitalization
For about 1 in 4 children born with hearing loss, the cause is unknown.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Toddlers
After knowing what the possible causes are, here are the signs of hearing loss in toddlers that you should pay attention to:
1. 12 to 18 months old
Warning signs to look out for when a child is 12 to 18 months old:
- Does not recognize the names of familiar people, pets, and objects
- Unable to follow simple commands like “come here”
- Not turning around in response to a voice coming from another room
- Not pointing to express desire
- Don’t imitate simple words
- Not using at least two words
- Not responding to music
- And not babbling
- Does not point to simple body parts or look at familiar objects when asked
2. 19 to 24 months old
Warning signs to look out for when a child is 19 to 24 months:
- Don’t say more than five words
- Unable to designate at least two body parts when asked
- Does not respond with “yes” or “no” to questions or commands
- Unable to identify common objects such as “ball” or “cat”
- Don’t mix rambling with some understandable speech
- Not happy when the story is read
- Does not understand simple phrases (“under the table”, “in the box”)
3. Age 25 to 29 months
Warning signs to look out for when a child is 25 to 29 months old:
- Doesn’t respond to two-part commands like “sit down and drink your milk”
- Unable to answer “what” and “who” questions
- Unable to form simple sentences with two words such as “I’m hungry”
- Not interested in simple stories
- Does not understand many action words, such as “run”, “walk”, “sit”
4. Age 30 to 36 months
Warning signs to look out for when a child is 30 to 36 months:
- Does not understand ownership terms such as “mine” and “yours”
- Unable to select objects by size, such as “big” and “small”
- Do not use plurals or verbs
- Not asking “what” and “why” questions
- Don’t understand “not now” or “no more”
So, those are some of the characteristics of toddlers with hearing loss, which parents need to know and should not ignore. If you see your child showing one or more characteristics on an ongoing basis, be sure to immediately check with the doctor.
Early treatment will certainly give better results, right?