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Children And Hearing Aids
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A hearing aid is a small electronic device placed behind or in your child's ear. 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 hearing aids for both ears.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider or audiologist as directed:
Your child's hearing loss may change as he grows, so he will need regular appointments to check for changes. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Hearing aids 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 into 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 to take care of your 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 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.
How to help your 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 about headbands and other devices that can help hold the hearing aids in place.
- Prevent feedback from the hearing aid: Earwax and dirt in your child's ears make feedback worse. Feedback is a whistling sound that comes out of the ear mold when it does not fit properly. Watch your child for signs of an ear infection. Ear infections can worsen feedback and lead to pain and more hearing loss. Ask for more information about signs of an ear infection.
- Learn about other listening devices: If you have a school-aged child, ask 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.
Contact your child's healthcare provider or audiologist if:
- Your child still has problems hearing even when he uses his hearing aids.
- Your child's hearing aid is not working or needs to be replaced.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
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