Children’s Hearing Loss: Signs, Symptoms, and Next Steps

It can often be difficult to tell if your child has hearing loss, especially in infants and toddlers who don’t speak yet. Because of this, it is vital to know the signs and symptoms of hearing loss in children and act diligently. As an audiologist, I know it can be disheartening to know that your child doesn’t hear you, but the earlier you can detect and treat it, the sooner they can get back to learning and growing to their full potential.

Signs and Symptoms

Unfortunately, there is no one telltale sign that your little one has hearing loss; symptoms present differently for each child. Being aware of the most common symptoms of hearing loss in babies and children is the best way to tell if it is time for a hearing exam.


Babies present signs differently than children because they can’t communicate with us at the same level. Here are the most common signs that it is time for your baby to have a hearing exam:

  • Your baby does not startle at loud noises
  • They don’t turn to the sound source after six months old
  • Your baby doesn’t say single words like dada or mama by one year old
  • They turn their head only when they see you, not when you call their name
  • Your baby seems to hear some sounds but not others


In children, it should be easier to communicate with them, making the signs of hearing loss different than in babies. Here are the most common signs that it is time for your child to have a hearing exam:

  • Delayed speech development
  • Your child’s speech is unclear
  • They do not follow directions
  • Your child often says, “huh?”
  • They turn up the TV volume too high

Babies and children have developmental milestones in playing, learning, communicating, and how they act. According to the CDC, any delay in achieving these milestones could be a symptom of hearing loss.

What’s Next?

If you notice that your baby or child has any of these signs or symptoms of hearing loss, you must schedule a hearing exam right away. Early and quick intervention could be the difference in your child reaching their developmental milestones.

Just like adults, hearing exams for babies and children are easy, quick, and painless. Babies often sleep during their examinations. Babies should have an exam within one month of their birth; typically, this is done while they are still in the hospital. Children should have an exam before they enroll in school. Babies and children should always be tested if they present any signs of hearing loss.

If your little one is found to have hearing loss, depending on their type of hearing loss, treatment can be as simple as removing excess earwax or could be more involved with hearing aids and speech therapy. Schools often offer accommodations to children with hearing loss as well.

As a leading Louisiana audiologist, my passion is to help people of all ages hear better. If you suspect your child has hearing loss, give my expert team at Selective Hearing a call and schedule an exam today.