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Parents Urged to Make Special Request for Routine Hearing Test for Children

Fall signals the beginning of a new school year and sports season, prompting many parents to schedule a mandatory medical exam for their budding football players, soccer stars and cross-country athletes.

According to, however, most annual medical exams don’t include a routine hearing test, putting children at risk for undetected hearing loss. cautions that many children may head back to school with a hearing problem that could hinder their performance in the classroom and on the playing field, and the company urges parents to request a routine hearing test for children during this fall’s back-to-school medical exam and get hearing-loss treatment if necessary.

It is estimated that at least 1.4 million children age 18 or younger have hearing problems, and ear infections are the most common cause of hearing loss in young children. It is especially important for young children to have their hearing checked before each school year, as many ear infections crop up during the summer months when children are spending more time at the pool or beach. offers parents a list of common signs of hearing loss in children, including:

  • Saying “huh?” or “what?” frequently
  • Increasing the volume on a television set or stereo to very loud levels, or sitting very close to the TV
  • Switching ears frequently when using the telephone
  • Having difficulty understanding what is being said in a noisy environment.

Teachers and parents should also watch for other signs of hearing loss in children and teens:

  • Delayed speech or language development
  • Attention-deficit or behavior problems
  • Poor academic performance.

Hearing is critical to speech and language development, communication and learning. The hearing professionals agree that when a child has hearing loss, early intervention is critical. Even a few months can be a major delay in the rapidly changing brain of a child. Studies show that early intervention helps improve language development, increases academic success and increase lifetime opportunities for a child with hearing loss.

To ensure that children and teens can make the most of the coming school year, parents are urged to request a routine hearing test as part of any back-to-school medical exam for their children.

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