Kid’s Health – Step into the Hearing House

[Image - Corey Blaz]
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Why should you encourage your children to take care of their hearing health? Check out this unique game!

Life is full of responsibility and nothing comes with more than being a parent. Suddenly you have this whole other human to take care of, and your top priority for that human is likely to be taking care of their health.

The health checklist

As parents, we need to set a good example for our children – and I’m not just talking about not swearing at the TV when your team lose their 2-1 lead! It’s our job to ensure our mini-me is eating right, sleeping enough, brushing their teeth twice a day and washing their hands before dinner.

It’s also our duty to ensure they don’t put small objects up their nose, although that one may be slightly trickier than cooking them a healthy dinner and putting them to bed at a reasonable time!

As children grow, most parents will teach them the basics of a healthy lifestyle. Ensuring they eat a healthy and varied diet, get enough exercise, get the right amount of sleep and take care of their teeth. There’s no reason this level of care shouldn’t extend to our children’s hearing too, especially when hearing health is something that is all too often neglected.

Most babies will have their hearing tested shortly after birth and the majority of children will be born with perfect hearing; with most of them staying that way. Occasionally though, children can experience changes in their hearing, which can be caused by a variety of factors, including –

– Exposure to very loud noises. This could be one exceptionally loud noise, or a series of loud noises over a period of time

– A viral infection, such as mumps or measles

– An infection of the middle ear – something that is incredibly common in children aged under 10

– A blockage of the middle ear, often known as “glue ear”

Keeping an ear out!

Signs of hearing loss in babies and children can be varied, but there are certain things to look out for. Not turning towards the source of a loud sound (for example you, when you’re screaming at Rooney for missing that chance) can be a good indication of a change in hearing. Regularly turning up the volume on the TV or radio is also a sign that your child’s hearing has altered in some way.

Children with reduced hearing are also known to ignore questions and instructions from parents, but there’s a good chance that’s less to do with their hearing, and more to do with them not wanting to tidy their rooms!

While parents should be sure to pay close attention to any changes in hearing their child may experience, it’s also important for children to understand the importance of this themselves. Kids who are taught about their hearing health are more likely to be able to identify any changes they may experience, and therefore may not be as reliant on parents and family members to notice changes for them.

UK hearing expert Hidden Hearing wants to encourage more parents to teach their children about the importance of their hearing health. To do this, they have created the Hearing House – a simple, interactive game that parents can play with their children to help teach them more about the subject.

Step into the Hearing House with your children, and use the sounds to identify what room you’re standing in. Encourage your children to identify the sounds themselves and explain why they should tell you about any changes in hearing they notice.