Hearing loss and children

When hearing technology unlocks a child’s full potential, life is on

Children are our future

By giving them access to a world full of sounds, we can help children with hearing loss develop the hearing skills they need to live their best lives – to play, interact, learn, communicate and ultimately, succeed.

As a parent, educating yourself about hearing loss in babies, toddlers, and children – and what you can do about it – is the first step towards making the best decisions for your child’s future. Taking action early in your child’s life is critical.

A child needs to hear 45 million words by the age of four years to be ready for school.1

Why every sound counts

For families choosing a listening and spoken language (LSL) outcome for their children, access to sounds is very important. Young listeners need access to millions of words and thousands of hours of listening to develop spoken language and literacy.

Research tells us that access to the clearest possible sound from the earliest age, maximizes a child’s chances for healthy speech, language, and social development.2

Ears are the doorway to the brain

It may be helpful to think of ears as being doorways to the brain and hearing loss as a doorway problem. If sounds do not reach the brain as they should, important auditory information is lost. In fact, the part of the brain devoted to hearing can actually become reorganized over time.

Learn how we hear

Hearing loss in children

Sometimes a child will not respond to sound because they are not paying attention. However, inconsistent responses could be a sign of an inability to hear properly. Take note of any changes in your child’s behavior and look for clues that might indicate hearing difficulty.

From ear infections to underlying genetic causes, hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors. Some types of hearing loss are temporary and some are permanent, like sensorineural hearing loss. In this case, hearing aids or cochlear implants can help. Learn more to ensure your child gets the right treatment at the right time.

Signs, types and causes of hearing loss

Hearing tests for children

Your child’s hearing can be tested in a number of different ways. The main purpose of a hearing test is to determine the severity and type of hearing loss.

Hearing tests available for children

What you can do to help your child

Thanks to modern hearing technology, the future for children with hearing loss looks brighter than ever before. Our dedicated Sky B hearing aid portfolio has been designed specifically to meet the hearing needs of children of all ages. In challenging listening situations, like in noise or over distance, wireless microphone technology, such as Roger™ can further improve speech understanding.

How to help your child

Fun musical approach to develop listening and language

The BabyBeats™ early intervention resource app is filled with motivating and fun musical activities for parents of babies and toddlers with hearing loss to bond, play and learn together. The app guides parents through activities that will build the foundation for all later  learning, listening and communication. Download BabyBeats and watch your child’s face light up in response to the music, sound, voices and movement.  

Click here to download app

With Roger technology, children are exposed to up to 5,300 more words in an 8 hour day.³

Together, we can change your child’s life

At Phonak, we understand the listening needs of children and the importance of providing them with the best access to all of the sounds in their environment. Phonak has over 45 years of expertise in the field of pediatric audiology and we work closely with leading pediatric specialists, hearing healthcare professionals and teachers to create innovative holistic solutions for our future generations.

References 

1 Hart, B. & Risley, T. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.

2 McCreery, R. W., Walker, E. A., Spratford, M., Bentler, R., Holte, L., Roush, P., & Moeller, M. P. (2015). Longitudinal predictors of aided speech audibility in infants and children. Ear and Hearing, 36 Suppl 1, 24–37.

3 Benitez-Barrera, C.R., Angley G., & Tharpe, A.M. (2018). Remote microphone system use at home: Impact on caregiver talk. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, Vol. 61, 399-409.