If your child has hearing loss, your family is not alone. The National Institute of Health reports that about two to three of every 1,000 babies born in the United States are born with some type of hearing loss. The good news is, a great majority of children can experience improved hearing with the help of hearing aids.
The bad news is, as any parent knows, getting your child to adjust to anything new can certainly be a challenge. However, the key to getting all the benefits hearing aids have to offer means establishing a daily wear and care routine. Check out these tried-and-true tips to help your child adjust to their new and exciting life with hearing aids.
1. Involve your child in the hearing aid selection process
There are a variety of pediatric hearing aids from which to choose, including fun, bright colors. When kids can pick out something they like and want to wear, it helps them feel involved and empowered in their own hearing health. So let your child decide if they would like to blend in or stand out!
Bonus tip! Not sure how to customize? Try stickers, it’s a fun way to allow your child to show off their personality.
2. Start slow and build up hearing aid use
All types of new sounds can be overwhelming for first-time hearing aid users, so let your child know it’s okay to take a break during the adjustment period. However, ensure you work together to build up to full-time use (or as recommended by your child’s hearing care provider). You can use things like timers or reward systems to help build up if your child is hearing aid-resistant; whatever method works best for your child’s unique needs.
Bonus tip! Have your child wear their hearing aids during fun activities and then slowly increase the time until they are wearing it during all waking hours. This will help make wearing hearing aids less intimidating.
3. Establish a hearing aid wear and care routine
Setting up a routine for hearing aid wear and care immediately will set the tone for how your child cares for their hearing devices for the rest of their life, so set good habits now, like:
- Putting hearing aids in at the start of the day, and taking them out before they go to sleep
- Storing or charging devices in the same place; preferably where they sleep
- Regular cleaning and maintenance
Check out more tips about daily hearing aid care here
4. Make sure your child’s hearing aids fit
At some point, your child’s hearing aid is going to fall out. However, some parents may not know if their child has pulled it out or if it’s fallen out. Some children are highly active and can lose a hearing aid by accident, but a hearing device can also pop out if it doesn’t fit correctly, or a child may continually remove a device if it is uncomfortable. If you have a super-active kid, ask their hearing care provider about the Oticon SafeLine™ retention cord. But if you think there’s a bigger problem, ask your child if they’re experiencing pain or discomfort – their hearing care provider or pediatrician may be able to help.
5. Above all, be patient
It can be difficult for a child, whether they’re a toddler or a teen, to get used to hearing aids. Their world undergoes a drastic change in an instant and – even though this change is for the better – it can be overwhelming. Listen to your child, help build a routine together, and help make hearing fun!
To learn more about hearing aids for children, contact a hearing care provider in your