The Healthy Child Programme (DH 2009) advocates that all five year old children should have their hearing tested. Healthcare Support Workers in School Health across Worcestershire are now required to undertake a screen of children’s hearing, in reception year, throughout all state maintained schools in Worcestershire. The main reason for screening children’s hearing at this age is to ensure that all children have satisfactory hearing for learning in school.
Hearing loss is the result of sound signals not reaching the brain. There are two main types of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the sensitive hair cells inside the cochlea or the auditory nerve. Conductive hearing loss is when sounds are unable to pass from the outer ear to the inner ear, often as the result of a blockage such as earwax, glue ear, infection a perforated ear drum or a disorder of the hearing bones. Children commonly have intermittent hearing loss linked with middle ear infections.
Untreated hearing problems can cause difficulties with speech, learning and behaviour. Sweep audiometry is recommended as a quick method for establishing if a child has satisfactory hearing (or not). This is a technique where four speech frequencies (pitch) are played through headphones to the child on both right and left sides at very quiet levels which are equivalent to satisfactory hearing levels
If a child fails their hearing test they will be referred to the Audiometric nurses who will perform a more detailed examination
They can be contacted on: 01905 681701.