Hearing Aid Tips For Children
For many parents, there is a lot to learn when a child receives their first set of hearing aids, from identifying the best devices to figuring out proper care for them. Online resources, like National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), can provide some guidance on how to care for hearing devices, but your child’s audiologist should be your primary resource for assistance. Here, The Hearing Group walks you through some of the most helpful tips for maintaining hearing aids for kids.
Helping Your Child Care For Their Devices
After your child receives the best hearing aids for them, it’s time to learn how to properly use and maintain the devices. Your child’s audiologist can provide a hearing aids overview of your specific model and upkeep instructions. If your children are too young to maintain the hearing aids by themselves, it will be up to you to ensure they’re cared for properly. Practicing a regular care routine helps many families maintain their child’s hearing aids, and most importantly, ensure that they are always working properly.
It’s a smart habit to regularly clean your child’s devices to prevent hearing complications and maintain good hygiene practices. Equally important is routinely visiting your child’s audiologist for a thorough in-office cleaning. In addition, parents should listen daily to their child’s hearing aids. As children outgrow their earmolds, hearing aids can potentially feeedback or become so loose they fall off of the ear.
Clean Your Child’s Hearing Aids
Pediatric hearing aids should be gently cleaned each night before they go inside the case. Children typically use custom earmolds, which can easily collect wax and cause muffled sounds or make it seem that the hearing aid is not working at all. Daily cleaning helps prevent wax buildup that can affect performance. Hearing aids can often be cleaned with a wax pick, brush, or dry wipe. Depending on the type of hearing aid your child uses, some steps to take when cleaning include:
Cleaning Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
Carefully remove the earmolds and wipe them down with a wet cloth (avoid alcohol or chemicals). You can soak the earmolds in a container of warm soapy water once or twice each week to help prevent them from becoming stained. Make sure to let them dry fully before use. Please note that it is normal for the earmolds to have a slight odor and to become discolored from being in the ear. However, always consult a doctor if the odor is strong, as it could be a sign of an ear infection.
Check Your Child’s Hearing Aid Batteries
Parents can help prevent damage and complications by checking the batteries often. This is especially important with young children who may not immediately be aware of issues or able to communicate to you that their hearing devices are not functioning properly. Low batteries can cause your child to not hear at the regular functioning volume. It is also a good practice to remove the batteries every so often and wipe down the contact points with a dry cotton swab – this will ensure that they are free of moisture. Newer models of hearing aids use a rechargeable battery which usually lasts for 2 to 3 years.
Perform Periodic Hearing Aid Examinations
Without proper maintenance or examinations, earmolds can easily become damaged. For starters, the tubing can potentially harden or it can loosen or fall out. When this happens, your child may not hear as well. This is especially true for children because children are consistently and steadily growing, they can grow out of their earmolds quickly. In turn, this can cause feedback to occur.
To ensure your child’s hearing devices are in full and proper function, do a quick examination each morning before use. Alongside regular cleaning and battery checks, at-home visual and listening examinations can help you identify possible signs of external or internal damage. Try following these steps:
- Look for cracks or holes on the tubing and opening.
- Place the hearing aid in the listening tube provided from your audiologist to your ear and listen for static, crackling, or other irregular noises.
These steps are all things that your child will most likely become used to doing on their own as they become older. Of course, it never hurts to double-check the devices yourself and help them along the way.
Learn More About Hearing Aids For Kids
It can be overwhelming to learn everything you need to know about your child’s hearing aids all at once. The Hearing Group offers a news blog with routinely updated information about hearing loss and devices. If you are looking for personalized guidance on hearing aids for kids in Essex County, New Jersey, make an appointment with us today.