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Children And Hearing Aids
What is a hearing aid?
A hearing aid is a small electronic device placed behind or in your child's ear to help him hear better. It contains a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. A hearing aid can help your child if he has mild to moderate hearing loss. Your child may need a hearing aid for both ears.
What types of hearing aids are used for children?
- Behind the ear: A small plastic case rests behind your child's ear. It is connected by a tube to a molded plastic piece that fits inside your child's ear. This type of hearing aid is the style that is most often used for infants and young children.
- In the ear: This aid fits inside your child's ear. This style is usually used for children who are 7 years or older.
How do I take care of my child's hearing aid?
- Replace hearing aid molds as your child grows: The ear molds must fit well in your child's ears to prevent feedback.
- Change the batteries as needed: Batteries may need to be changed every 1 to 2 weeks.
- Learn how to use the hearing aid: Learn how to use the features on the hearing aid, such as the volume, power, and special settings. Ask your child's caregiver how the hearing aid should be cleaned and maintained. When you learn how to use and care for the hearing aid, you can make sure that it is working properly.
What else can I do to help my child hear better?
- Keep your child away from loud noise: This can prevent more hearing loss. Loud noise includes fireworks, loud music, motorcycles, and power tools.
- Face your child when you speak to him: Do not cover your mouth as you speak. When you are in a group setting, have your child sit in a location where he can clearly see the faces of the people who are talking. Ask people not to speak loudly when they speak to your child if they do this. People should speak using their usual tone and volume.
- Help your child get used to the hearing aids: Have your child wear the aids as much as possible. When your infant is feeding or having a tantrum, you may leave the aids out for a period of time. Ask your caregivers about headbands and other devices that can help hold the hearing aids in place.
- Help your child avoid feedback from the hearing aid: Feedback is a whistling sound that comes out of the ear mold when it does not fit properly. Earwax and dirt in your child's ears make feedback worse. Watch your child for signs of an ear infection. Ear infections can worsen feedback and lead to pain and more hearing loss. Ask caregivers for more information about signs of an ear infection.
- Learn about other listening devices: If you have a school-aged child, ask caregivers about listening aids that will work in a classroom. These listening aids will make it easier for your child to hear a teacher and other classmates.
- Keep all appointments with your child's caregivers: Your child's hearing loss may change as he grows, so he will need regular appointments to check for changes.
Where can I find support and more information?
- American Hearing Research Foundation
8 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 814
Chicago , IL 60603-4539
Phone: 1- 312 - 726-9670
Web Address: http://www.american-hearing.org
- Better Hearing Institute
1444 I Street NW, Suite 700
Washington , DC 20005
Phone: 1- 202 - 449-1100
Web Address: www.betterhearing.org
When should I contact my child's caregiver?
Contact your caregiver if:
- Your child still has problems hearing even when he uses his hearing aids.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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