Hearing loss is somewhat common in children, occurring in about one to three of 1,000 children. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms in your children, schedule an appointment for a hearing test with an audiologist in your area.

1. They were premature 

Hearing loss is more common in premature babies. You should pay closer attention to a premature baby, especially if they had a stay in the NICU. You should also pay close attention if they were given medications that are known to cause hearing loss, were exposed to loud noises, had complications at birth, or have had many ear infections in their first few years of life.

2. Reflexes and responses

There are many reflexes that a child should develop in their first year of life. Many of them have to do with hearing, and if you aren’t noticing these reflexes in play, it may be a sign of hearing loss. To begin with, when they are newborns and beyond, they should become startled at a loud noise. It should cause them to cry or become alarmed. By three months, they should be able to differentiate between a parents voice and a stranger’s voice. By six months, if they hear a loud noise, they will be able to turn their head in the direction of the noise. By 12 months, your child should begin speaking his or her first words, usually one or two syllable words like “mama” and “bye”. If you aren’t noticing these reflexes consistently in your child, take them in for a hearing test as soon as possible.

3. Communication

Once your child becomes a toddler, you’ll know if they’re having serious hearing problems. But, there are some signs that your child is experiencing some minor hearing loss. If they are having some issues with their speech, like not being able to speak like other children their age, or responding inappropriately to questions or comments, they may have a hearing loss problem. Some other signs include not responding to their name, getting frustrated with background noise, or constantly needing the TV or music volume higher. If you are seeing any of these problems, take them to your pediatrician to see if they think you need a referral to an audiologist.

Hearing loss in a child can be a scary problem, but with the right steps, you’ll be able to remedy the situation. Visit a doctor to get the help your child needs and they’ll be hearing again and getting the therapy or hearing aids they need in no time.