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Uniforms, stationery and lunch boxes – they’re common items on the Back to School checklist, but have you also remembered to book your child’s annual hearing test?

With the incidence of permanent hearing loss doubling by the time a child reaches school age, a hearing test should be added to your list before that first school bell rings.

As many as 14 per cent of primary school children may be affected by some level of hearing loss.1

“There are issues a child might be experiencing, such as hearing loss, which can often go undetected, particularly in the very busy first few weeks of school,” said Hear and Say Clinical Director, Emma Rushbrooke.

“Optimal hearing is critical for listening, speech and language development, as well as building learning and communication skills.

Children doing school work with teacher in background

“Even a temporary hearing loss can impact a child’s ability to listen and learn in the classroom – that’s why a regular hearing test is important for ensuring any hearing or ear health issues don’t get left untreated.”

Hear and Say can help children and adults alike can start the year on the right foot and ensure any hearing concerns are addressed.

To help identify if your child might be having difficulty hearing, we’ve put together ten common warning signs:

  • Parental, caregiver or teacher concern about the child’s hearing ability
  • Speech or language delay or difficulty
  • Inappropriate responses to requests or questions, e.g. child often says ‘What?’ or ‘Huh?’
  • Difficulty hearing in one or both ears when on the phone
  • Not startling to very loud sounds or asking for the volume to be turned up on electronic devices
  • Unable to detect what direction sounds are coming from
  • Inattentiveness, daydreaming
  • Frequently asks for repetition or has difficulty following directions
  • Watching others for visual cues
  • Academic difficulties and/or behavioural problems

Book a hearing test

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1 Choi, S. M. R., Kei, J., & Wilson, W. J. (2017). Rates of hearing loss in primary school children in Australia: A systematic review. Speech, Language and Hearing20(3), 154-162.

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