In a new research poll that was released by University of Michigan’s Mott Children’s Hospital it was found that parents are in favor of required hearing screenings for kids all the way up to age 17…and with good reason. Just yelling “turn it down” isn’t enough when young people are blasting music directly into their ears via earbuds and headphones, parents say.
The national poll on children’s health asked a sample of parents of children 0-17 years old about whether they’d support requirements for hearing screening and where they’d prefer to have the screening done.
Overall, two-thirds of parents support hearing screening across all age groups. In many states hearing screenings are already required in preschool and elementary school-age children. Screenings have been effective in identifying hearing loss which can impact communication and learning as a whole. With the results of screenings further testing and treatment can be conducted before they experience delays in speech, language and learning.
Currently hearing screenings for middle and high school students is uncommon, but with the increasing concern of hearing health for this age group, parents are in support of making this a priority.
“Hearing screening for tweens and teens is uncommon. However, as the parents in our poll recognize, children in these age groups may develop hearing loss as time goes on, possibly from extended listening to loud noise, such as through personal, portable listening devices like MP3 players,” Handelsman says.
Handelsman says that the poll results are encouraging because they show parents recognize the need for continual screening. A student might pass the hearing tests as a kindergartener, but develop hearing loss or hearing problems at a later age. Parents and doctors alike recognize that this age group is constantly bombarded with sound – from music players, computers, televisions, video games – they reach a point where they’ve heard too much and damage may begin.