10 Things to Know About Having Children with Hearing Aids
Updated: Jan 6, 2020
How to Help your Child
There’s lots to navigate when adjusting to having a child with hearing aids. Here are ten things that will help you as you navigate your child’s experience.
Normalize hearing aids quickly.
Hearing is an important tool in your child’s development. Especially in younger kids, not wearing hearing aids can inhibit their speech and language development. Having hearing aids be as normal as eating and napping will make sure your child doesn’t miss anything.
Don’t handle them with kid gloves.
Parents can get nervous about such small, expensive equipment being in the hands of a little one but have no fear: your child’s devices are made to last. These devices are durable so fight the urge to remove them or have your child take them out at home.
Don’t fret about batteries.
Hearing aid batteries are small and dangerous if swallowed. Pediatric hearing aids are tamper resistant to avoid accidents.
Your child should be the expert.
We all want to help our children but sometimes the best help we can give is being hands off. Your child should be the expert on their hearing aid. Work with your child’s audiologist and doctor to understand age-appropriate responsibilities for your child related to their hearing aid. From a young age, your child should be able to place and remove their hearing aids and tell the difference between the right and left. While you should assist your child, they should take the lead.
Monitor with hearing checks.
While your child is the one who will be the expert, there’s one area where they won’t know: when it comes to their hearing. Kids need an adult to do daily checks. Your child’s audiologist will teach you how to do this.
Children, especially younger ones, may not be able to communicate that their hearing aids are causing discomfort—they’ll just pull them out. Watch for this as it’s a sign you should see the audiologist for help with fitting.
Protect your investment.
Kids lose things! Help reduce this risk and avoid time lost getting new hearing aids by purchasing clips to keep hearing aids attached to clothes should they be removed accidentally or pulled out by a younger child.
Encourage autonomy and self-advocacy.
Your child is their own best advocate and one way to build that skill is by allowing them to answer questions at appointments and express any anxiety or discomfort to their audiologist. Do not diminish their concerns or try to rush them.
Don’t skip appointments.
Children adapt easily and your child may adjust to their hearing aids quickly. And, as all parents and caregivers know, they aren’t big fans of conversation. It can be easy to think everything is okay with your child and their hearing aids and with life as busy as it is, skipping an appointment or two with your child’s audiologist may seem like it’s not a big deal. It is. Go to all appointments.
Navigating hearings aids with children isn’t easy but you have great resources available to you in your child’s audiologist, school professionals, and online. Don’t ever hesitate to answer questions or have conversations about your feelings.