Children and Balance

by: Melanie Dunne
More than 1 in 20 (nearly 3.3 million) children between the ages of 3 and 17 have a dizziness or balance problem, according to an analysis of the first large-scale, nationally representative survey of these problems in U.S. children. Research was led by investigators at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health analyzed data on nearly 11,000 children, ages 3 to 17 and published online January 27 in The Journal of Pediatrics. It was found that children with any reported difficulty hearing were two times more likely to have dizziness or balance problems compared with children who had normal hearing. Other risk factors associated with dizziness and balance problems included impairments that limit a child’s ability to crawl, walk, run, or play; frequent headaches or migraines; certain developmental delays; a history of seizures in the past 12 months; stuttering/stammering; and anemia during the last 12 months.
It was also found that only one-third, or 32.8 percent, of parents with a child with a dizziness or balance problem reported having received a diagnosis of an underlying condition. The percentage of children diagnosed rose to 59.6 percent among children whose parents reported they had moderate to serious difficulties with dizziness and balance problems. Reported causes included neurological problems; ear infections; head or neck injuries or concussions; developmental motor coordination disorder; genetic causes; metabolic problems such as hypoglycemia; prescription medication or drugs; severe headaches or migraines; malformation of the ear; and vision problems.
For more information on vestibular testing, tinnitus, aural rehabilitation, or hearing health, please contact Hearing Partners of South Florida.  Delray  561-638-6530,  Boynton Beach  561-736-6002,  Jupiter  561-888-7260

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