An infant is very vulnerable and should be protected from the outside world. In particular, your baby’s ears should be protected.
If your baby has a hearing loss and you don’t know about it, it can slow down his/her development and lead to struggles later on, especially if a child can’t hear a teacher’s voice. Luckily, there are simple steps you can follow to protect your baby’s ears.
Ear Tubes Can Help
If your child has suddenly become inattentive, he/she can develop a muffled hearing especially if your kid begins to talk loudly all the time. Even if the ears seem fine, you should come to visit your pediatrician, who can check ears for fluids and refer you to another specialist (otolaryngologist). Sometimes, you just have to wait until the fluids resolve on their own. Just let others know your child has temporary problems with hearing.
Fluids that stay longer can affect your child’s hearing and language skills long term. This is called tympanostomy tubes which are small tubes that allow air to flow in. These tubes resolve naturally after 15 months. If the tubes stay, a simple surgery might be necessary to get them out.
Lower the Sound
You can easily prevent hearing loss related to noise by turning down every loud item. This can be a TV, a jackhammer or a loud concert. There are also earmuffs and special carriers for children, so you can use them if you can’t avoid loud noises.
Some toys are very loud as well. If you hold them against your ear and they are too loud, they are even louder for a child. Tell your kid to keep noisy toys away from ears, and turn off those that are too loud.
Do a Whisper Test
Even though you’re not a doctor and you can perform specific tests, you can determine whether there is a problem. If your baby is 6 months or older, one parent should capture his/her attention with a toy while the other should stand a foot away so that the baby can’t see and whisper child’s name. If your baby reacts and tries to turn to the source of the whisper, his/her hearing is probably fine.
Remove The Waxy Buildup
Our ears need wax to lubricate the ear so it can get rid of dust and other foreign bodies, as well as protect the ears from infections and injuries. Don’t try to push anything into the ear, even if it’s a soft cotton swab. If your child’s ears produce too much earwax, a specialist can carefully clear it out.
I hope these simple tips will help your child develop healthily and happily. And if you suspect anything serious, always visit a doctor. Health conditions are easier to prevent than to treat.