Every baby born in a hospital has their hearing checked before both parent and baby are discharged from the hospital. Routine check-ups with a professional audiologist should be part of your child’s health maintenance as your child grows. Here are some tips for preparing and taking your young child to the audiologist.
Touch & Talk About Their Ears
With a young child, you want to get them used to having their ears touched and looked at. One way to do this is to form the habit of gently touching and wiggling their ears. Make it a loving, positive experience for your child. Encourage questions and even let them do the same wiggles to your ears.
Even though audiologists are trained to make young children’s early test experiences comfortable and painless, your child may become stressed because a stranger is touching and peering into their ears with an instrument.
Prepare Your Child for an Ear Examination
Before the appointment, talk to your child about the appointment and what the audiologist will do during the exam.
Play ear doctor at home. First, you play the doctor and investigate your toddler’s ears using a small magnifying glass or a small flashlight to investigate your child’s ears.
Some exams will require your child to listen to sounds. Practice putting headphones on your child and taking them off. Practice teaching your toddler active listening by playing a sound awareness game. For instance, if you are outdoors and a bird chirps, ask, “What’s that?” Or if your child drops a toy on the floor and it makes a sound. Again ask, “What’s that?” This game encourages more focused listening.
Use these suggestions or be creative and devise your own hearing games to prepare your young child for a hearing exam. You know your child best and what they will positively respond to. If you are willing to take the time, you can prepare your child to have a positive, stress-free examination by the audiologist.