What is World Hearing Day? When and Why did it start?
World Hearing Day started in 2007 and has been celebrated every year on March 3rd since then. This day brings awareness across not just the United States but the entire world about hearing loss and deafness as well as promoting healthy hearing care. Deafness or loss of hearing can severely impact a child’s education. According to the CDC approximately .1% of children have severe hearing loss while about 15% of children ages 6-9 have hearing loss in both ears of at least 16 decibels. If hearing loss remains undiagnosed and untreated it can cause speech delays that will eventually result in poor learning and behavioral issues as well as frustration for the child.
In the State of California every school in every school district is mandated to perform a hearing screening on all students in grades kindergarten, second, fifth, eighth and tenth. As a caregiver you can watch for:
Changes in behavior (more withdrawn/frustrated)
- Red ears/ pulling on ears as a baby
- Delayed speech and/or communication
- Not responding when spoken to
- More difficulty hearing with background noises
What can you do to prevent hearing loss?
- Wear hearing protection and reduce time spent in noisy environments
- Keep the volume at a safe level when listening to music, tv etc.
- Do not use cotton swabs to clean ears, this can lead to impacted wax causing infection as well as long term hearing loss.
This year’s theme for World Hearing Day is “Ear and Hearing care for all!”. Don’t take hearing for granted, watch for the signs, keep the sound at a safe volume and see your health care provider for screenings and cleanings.