How to identify hearing loss
ACROSS Australia, hospital family units undertake universal screening of all newborns for congenital hearing impairment within the first month of birth.
Local parents can have great confidence in this process because both Bundaberg and Hervey Bay hospitals have recently gained new hearing screening devices that not only use the latest technology, but are more comfortable for babies.
That said, hearing issues can be acquired after birth and parents should be aware of what to look out for, because three in 1000 children will need help for a hearing loss by the end of high school.
If your child has an issue with hearing, it’s vital to have it diagnosed as early as possible. What to look out for
This really depends on how old your child is.
Between birth and four months of age, your baby should be startled in response to sudden loud noises and try to locate where it has come from either by turning their head or moving their eyes. If they’re not responding, there may be an issue.
As they get older, your child should notice more sounds around them, smile when spoken to, babble and understand simple words. By around eight to 14 months they should recognise and respond to their name, say mumma or dadda (or similar), copy simple sounds and use their voice to get attention.
From 14 months to two years of age, they will start developing vocabulary, string two words together and follow simple instructions. Are all hearing losses permanent?
Hearing impairment can be conductive, sensorineural or a mixture of both types.
In layman’s terms a conductive impairment is when sounds from outside the ear have trouble going through different parts of the ear.
Call theWide Bay Hospital and Health Service child health team on: Gayndah ................... 4161 3571 Mundubbera ........... 4165 5222 Monto ....................... 4166 9300 Biggenden ............... 4127 6400 Eidsvold ................... 4165 7100