Are screenings on your back-to-school checklists?

Early detection and treatment of hearing loss help prevent long-term problems.
Early detection and treatment of hearing loss can help prevent long-term problems.

Back-to-school is the perfect time to be sure you’ve got all of the appropriate health screenings completed for your child. That includes both vision and hearing.

Hearing loss is often a gradual process and even a perceptive parent may miss signs of hearing loss in their child. It’s not difficult to imagine, though, how understanding directions, classroom participation, attention span and behavior would all be impacted by hearing loss. In fact, undetected hearing loss can affect children in many ways.

  • Delayed speech and language skills, including slower vocabulary development, difficulty with complex sentence structure, and trouble with pronunciation.
  • Reduced academic achievement, particularly in math and reading, often falling behind their peers from 1-4 grade levels.
  • Communication difficulties impacting the child’s ability to interact with other children, leading to social isolation and poor self-esteem.

For so many reasons, regular hearing screenings during childhood are vital for early identification and management of hearing loss.

Recommendations for Hearing Screenings

It’s probably been longer than you think since your child was screened. It’s too important to put off for another year. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, hearing screening should be conducted:

  • At school entry for all children
  • At least once at ages 6, 8, and 10
  • At least once during middle school At least once during high school
  • For any student entering a new school system without evidence of a previous hearing screening

In addition to hearing loss, regular screenings can be useful in detecting other health problems including blockage in the ear canal and ear infections. Early detection and treatment will help prevent long-term problems.

Before you send your kids back to school, schedule their hearing screenings with Oakdale ENT. Make an appointment today.