When you’re a mum to young children, there are so many things that you have to look out for and decide whether you’re doing the right thing on their behalf. Life includes a constant list of decisions where you hope you make the right call.
Every day, your child learns something new
From the very start, there are things such as what age you should start weaning them onto solid food, when and how you should be getting them to sleep through the night, start to use the potty etc. Then there are all those educational and other developmental milestones to think about. For example, what age should they be doing role play games, how much TV is it ok for them to watch, and what about playing on your phone or tablet when they develop the dexterity to do so? Of course, with nearly all these things it’s a question of trial and error, and you’ll often know mums with kids of a similar age, or whose children are older, so they’ve gone through all these stages and can advise you on what’s best.
One thing that often doesn’t come up as a ‘decision’ you have to take is anything to do with their hearing. For the vast majority of children, they are thankfully born without any hearing problems and you only will have to make decisions if they show any sign of difficulty when it comes to hearing. If you do have any worries that your child has hearing issues, though, the golden rule is that you should act on those concerns straight away. Free hearing tests for adults and children are readily available at Hidden Hearing, one of the UK’s biggest hearing test and hearing aid technology suppliers. All you need to do is find a branch near you and book an appointment. If a hearing test indicates that your child has a hearing problem, you’ll be advised as to the next steps to take. The sooner that a hearing issue is picked up and addressed, the better, so don’t delay if you have any worries at all about your child’s hearing.
Of course, there will always be times when your child appears not to hear you clearly. So how do you know when is it necessary to book a hearing test for them and when are they just choosing not to listen? Possible indications of a hearing problem are when a child constantly turns up the TV volume, or if they don’t seem to pay attention to what you are asking them to do. Sometimes their hearing may seem intermittent or they may start to watch you closely when you speak. This may mean they’re having trouble hearing you. Another indication of a change in their hearing could be if they begin to struggle with schoolwork. Of course, there may be other reasons for changes in behaviour or performance at school, but it’s wise to eliminate a hearing problem as a possible cause.
Make sure you monitor headphone use
One decision that you can definitely make for any child to help protect their hearing is to ensure that they use good quality headphones if they want to listen to music or watch a movie with them on. The over the ear style headphones are the most comfortable for young children to wear, and as long as they fit well, they’ll block out outside noise so the kids don’t need to turn the volume up beyond a safe level. The World Health Organisation recommends that children should only wear headphones for a maximum of one hour per day and that the volume should never exceed 60%. While this might be harder to impose on a teenager, if you can get younger children into good habits from an early age, so much the better for their future hearing.