Loss of hearing can have a profound impact on a child's learning and development. Read here for more information.
The main cause of hearing loss amongst children is Otitis Media, also known as glue or runny ear.
Some studies show that up to 91 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience Otitis Media particularly in regional and remote communities.
"So it's a really big problem," says child health nurse, Robyn Lea at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service in Woollongabba.
Robyn says breastfeeding is one of the best defences a mother has in preventing Otitis Media.
"When they’re feeding from the breast they’re getting all the good jaw movement, which helps drain all the fluid that sits behind the ear,” she says.
“The other part of breastfeeding are the antibodies that are passed down; so all of the mother’s defence that she’s developed over the years comes across in the breast milk and helps keep that baby strong fighting infections."
She also recommends encouraging children as they get older to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables to strengthen their body.
"Also, if they’re crunching on an apple, or a carrot, or munching on something that’s really hard for them to chew that helps move the fluid behind the ear as well.”
Children with ear infections can have no symptoms. Ask your doctor, health worker or nurse for an ear check each visit.