How to Protect Baby's Hearing

The Baby Whisperer

Only an audiologist or otolaryngologist can truly assess your baby's hearing. But there's one at-home check parents can try for babies 6 months and up, says Hunter. Have one parent capture the baby's eye with a toy while the other stands about a foot away from behind and whispers the child's name.

"If your baby turns toward the source of the whisper, that's a good sign," Hunter says.

Oh, That Waxy Buildup

Earwax isn't pretty, but it serves a purpose. It's a natural lubricant that gathers up dust and foreign bodies, protecting the ear from the injury and infection. Never push anything into the ear -- not even a cotton swab. "I've had several patients who went deaf because of cotton swabs," says pediatric audiologist Lisa Hunter, PhD. "They're like ramrods if the baby jerks." If your child produces an excess of earwax, a pediatrician or an ear, nose, and throat specialist should clear it out.

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