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The vision and hearing of the child: auditory control

Just like sight, the hearing of the newborn is controlled just after birth, by means of small objects emitting different sounds. It is the OAS (Oto-acoustic emissions) practiced at the maternity by the nurse or the midwife.

When a loud noise occurs in a quiet environment, the newborn jumps, blinks and cries out if the noise becomes excessive. It can have a habituation reaction when the noise is repeated. The hearing test is mandatory to establish the child's first health certificate.

Hearing screening is done for all children at the maternity ward, at 4, 9 and 24 months, but also as soon as the parents have a doubt about the hearing of the child.

It is important to be attentive to the behavior of the child on a daily basis, in order to detect as early as possible a possible hearing defect. There are deafness acquired from birth and others that can develop during early childhood.

Around 8-9 months, the child normally goes to the babbling stage, that is to say he pronounces syllables; the absence of this babbling may be due to a hearing defect. A 1-year-old child who does not respond to his first name, or simple calls like "Come" may have a poor hearing.

In case of doubt, it is better to consult an ENT doctor who will perform an OEP examination (Oto-induced emissions). The earlier deafness is detected, the earlier the child is treated, the easier it will become for social integration. If the child does have a hearing defect, he or she will be prescribed tests to assess hearing loss. And different solutions can be proposed depending on the deficit.

Finally, some children must be more particularly followed; these are children born in a family where a history of deafness exists, premature babies, as well as those whose mother has seroconverted toxoplasmosis or rubella during pregnancy. The hearing of children with repetitive ear infections should be monitored as well.

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Read also :

> Detecting deafness in newborns
> All about deafness
> Otitis with repetition in the child
> Growth pains in children

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