For teachers and early childhood workers
Teachers, teachers’ aides and early childhood workers are in a great position to help prevent ear disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Care for Kids’ Ears resources can support you to educate parents, carers and children on how to keep ears healthy.
Ear disease in early childhood
Children with hearing loss can have trouble understanding what’s happening in the classroom. This is tiring and distracting, and makes it hard to learn and concentrate.
It is possible to prevent ear disease to ensure children have the best possible experience at school.
How you can help
Educating children and parents is a huge part of preventing ear disease. Teachers, teachers’ aides and early childhood workers can help teach the kids they work with, and their parents, about ear disease.
The Care for Kids’ Ears resources are available to help you do this in a way that is engaging and easy to understand.
The story of Kathy and Ernie explains:
- how to keep ears healthy
- how to recognise ear disease
- what to do if children have a sore ear
- the importance of having regular ear checks.
The talking book provides these messages in 21 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages.
Recognising the signs
To prevent hearing loss, it’s also important for people who work with children to recognise the symptoms of ear disease.
If you think a child in your care might have an ear infection or hearing loss, talk to their parent or carer. Encourage them to get their child’s ears checked by a health worker, nurse or doctor.
You can also invite your local health worker, nurse or doctor to your class to talk about ear health.
If you care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, you can order Care for Kids' Ears resources for free, including brochures, booklets, activity books, crayons and stickers. You can also download and print as many copies as you like.
PLUM and HATS tools help health and early childhood workers ask family members the right questions to find out whether children are on track with their listening and talking.
If you have a child with hearing loss in your classroom, Hearing Australia provides practical ways you can help them learn.