Many children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have some residual hearing. Hearing aids are one way you can make the most of your child’s residual hearing.
What are hearing aids?
Hearing aids make sounds louder. They can be worn at any age, from infancy to age 100+. Many children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have some residual hearing, and hearing aids are designed to make the most of that.
There are many types of hearing loss, and many styles of hearing aids to help accommodate for that. A House Children’s Hearing Center (HCHC) audiologist will help you pick the best type to suit your child’s needs. A young child is usually fitted with behind-the-ear (BTE) style hearing aids because they fit better on growing ears.
How pediatric hearing aids are different
Hearing aids made especially for infants and children work very similarly to adult hearing aids, with a few exceptions:
- Pediatric hearing aids are more durable and are available in an array of fun colors
- Pediatric hearing aids are always compatible with assistive devices to facilitate communication and learning
- Pediatric hearing aids often include an indicator light to signal parents the unit is working
- Battery cases are tamper-resistant to prevent incorrect handling or swallowing
- Many are also free of any possible allergens or harmful chemicals
Getting your child used to hearing aids
It takes time to get used to hearing aids. Your child may need help putting and keeping the hearing aids on and adjusting them. You can start by putting on the hearing aids for a few hours in the day while your child is doing something fun then gradually increase how long they wear them until they can wear them for the whole day.
Here at HCHC, our dedicated care team will help you assess any additional services your child needs to be successful. This includes speech language services, (re)habilitation services, or community resources to help your child get the most out of their hearing aids.
Taking care of your child’s hearing aids
You should regularly check that your child’s hearing aids are working correctly. You can do this by examining the batteries often and keeping spare or rechargeable batteries on hand and in a safe space. Keep your child’s hearing aids clean and free of moisture. Disconnect the earmold from the hearing aid if it is dirty. Use a bulb syringe to blow any moisture out of the earmold or tubing and remove any debris from the earmold with a tissue or disinfectant wipe. Wait until the earmold is thoroughly dry then connect it to the hearing aid again and place it back in your child’s ear.
Hearing aid tips for parents
If you’re having trouble getting your child to keep their hearing aids on:
- Put the hearing aids on your child while they are doing a fun activity during which they will be less interested in pulling them off.
- Use hearing aid retention accessories, such as a headband or a cap, to secure the hearing aids.
- Use special clips to keep hearing aids attached to your child’s clothes so even if the hearing aids are pulled off, your child won’t lose them.
- Be consistent but gentle in replacing them every time your child pulls them off, so they know that’s where the hearing aids belong
Children’s hearing aids need to be checked daily, especially those too young to tell you if there’s a problem. By doing daily listening checks, you can ensure that the batteries are working and that the hearing aids are safe from debris or moisture. If you cannot hear sounds amplified through the hearing aids, your little one will not be able to either.