Why Annual Hearing and Vision Screenings Are Vital for Your Child's Development

Annual hearing and vision screenings are one of the best ways to spot potential problems before they become lifelong struggles. When your child comes in for an appointment of any type, a basic hearing and vision screening should be done. Yet, a full annual hearing and vision screening, which is a bit more thorough, is best. The benefits of these tests include pinpointing problems that could lead to learning delays.

When and what to schedule for your child

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides some key specific information about vision screenings and hearing tests. Specifically, babies should have a hearing screening no later than when they are 1 month old. They should then receive a full screening test by the age of 3 months if the initial test was not clear. It also states that children should receive both a hearing test and a vision test between the age of 2 and 2 1/2 years old. These longer, more detailed exams provide insight into the child’s ability to hear and see.

Annual visits should follow this initial screening. For most children, these tests take just a few minutes. Yet, they can provide important information to your child’s doctor.

Why are these screenings so important now?

A child who cannot see well cannot learn well. If your child is unable to hear, you may believe that it's due to a learning disability or perhaps from autism. Other parents are not sure why their child may struggle to follow rules or seems to have behavioral issues. In some of these situations, the child may have a vision or a hearing problem instead.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports that two to three out of every 1,000 children in the U.S. are born with a hearing problem or are deaf. This also includes individuals who lose more of their hearing as they get older. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also note that nearly two-thirds of children who have a vision impairment will have at least one type of developmental disability. This could be intellectual disabilities, hearing loss, epilepsy, or cerebral palsy.

What does having insight into a child’s hearing and vision do for them, though?

It may not seem that having insight into these concerns can do much. However, there are many benefits to these screenings.

Address learning disabilities early on

The single most important reason for early detection of hearing and vision loss is that it allows parents to determine if their child has a learning disability. When children cannot hear or see well enough, they may need additional educational resources to support their abilities. Providing access to hearing aids or vision improvement such as glasses helps ensure a child can develop fully.

Improve communications

When children have a limitation such as these, they may not be able to provide full communication as they should. This can lead to speech impairment or limitations in being vocal. Children who receive support for these limitations, on the other hand, are more likely to reach their full potential.

Improve a child’s safety

Along with developmental benefits, a child who is unable to see or hear well may need constant support in day-to-day life. However, there are solutions to fix this. For example, children with a seeing-eye dog may be able to do more of the tasks they want to do on their own while still being safe. Children who cannot hear well may not know how to avoid risks associated with sirens or how to alert others that they need help.

Developmental delays are not uncommon in children who suffer from hearing and vision loss. Yet, even simple things, such as getting glasses or monitoring hearing loss to see if it gets worse, can significantly improve a child’s quality of life.

Need to schedule a hearing and vision screening for your child?

Proper hearing and vision screening is a must for all children. Our team at Penguin Pediatrics PLLC can schedule these appointments for your child today. We encourage you to give us a call now or book an appointment online.

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