The Northern Health Audiology Program provides hearing services for children from birth to leaving high school.
Good hearing is essential for speech and language development and plays an important part in a child's social and emotional growth. Recognizing hearing loss early helps to reduce problems and the concerns that most care-givers share.
During the first year of life, your child should:
- Most newborn infants startle or "jump" to sudden loud noises
- By 3 months, a baby usually recognizes a care-giver's voice.
- By 6 months, an infant can usually turn his or her eyes or head toward a sound.
- By 12 months, a child can usually imitate some sounds and make a few words, such as "Mam" or "bye-bye."
As your baby grows into a toddler (between the ages of 1 and 3), signs of a hearing loss may include:
- No speech, making a very small amount of speech sounds, or speech that most people outside the family understand.
- Frequently doesn't notice when being spoken to.
- Difficulty learning.
As your child grows beyond the age of five or six, other signs of hearing loss include:
- Wanting to turn the volume up for radio and TV.
- Does not respond when spoken to in your normal tone and loudness of voice.
If you have a concern about your child's hearing, please ask your family physician, Public Health Nurse, or other health professional to refer your child to your local Public Health Audiology (Hearing) Clinic.
All Northern Health Audiologists are registered in the College of Speech & Hearing Health Professionals of BC.