Signs of hearing issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, ear troubles like ‘Glue Ear’ or infections are common but they can be tricky to identify, especially if your child isn’t in any pain. Regular ear checks and knowing the signs of hearing problems are important steps in your child’s health.

If left untreated, ear problems can cause permanent ear damage, and may also affect your child's speech and language development.

Here are some tips to help you keep an eye on your child's ears and hearing.


If your child is not learning to speak, it may be a sign of a hearing problem. Here's a guide to what children can generally do at certain ages:

  • At 6 months: look towards sounds

  • At 18 months: Say simple words such as ‘Ma-ma’

  • At 3 years: Say short sentences: ‘It’s a dog’

  • At 5 years: Be easily understood by others


If your child does any of the following, it may be a sign of a hearing problem:

  • Is regularly unable to hear sounds that you can

  • Says ‘what?’ a lot

  • Watches your face to hear you


Do they:

  • Always have a runny or crusty nose? Or runny, crusty or smelly ears?

If you’re concerned about your child’s hearing, we’re here to help. Our paediatric audiologists are specially trained on the care and management of hearing loss in children. If we discover a hearing problem, we’ll work with you to ensure your child has all the support they need to get on with being a kid! You can contact us here.