Seeing to the many needs of children is a full-time job. These days, parents are barely sleeping as they work, clean, feed, clothe, and transport their kids. Caring for a child that suffers from hearing loss adds quite a bit of extra work to their parents’ plates, but with a few tricks, helping a child take care of his or her hearing aids does not have to be a time-consuming task.
1. Encourage Ownership
From the very beginning, parents are urged by audiologists to encourage ownership of hearing aids in their children. At first, kids are often reluctant to wear their devices, but children learn quickly if parents make the benefits clear and really involve themselves in helping their child adapt and use them. Not only that, children like to think of something as “just theirs” and reminding them of this fact is sure to help.
2. Involve Your Child
Immersion is a strong path to knowledge in so many parts of our lives. From day one, parents should involve their child in the care and cleaning of his or her hearing aids. Hearing specialists believe that even the smallest infant should be present and spoken to often about how to take proper care of their devices.
3. Set a Routine
If a parent is inconsistent in when and where their child wears his hearing aids, he will be less likely to wear it when it is really needed. Audiologists encourage parents to set a clear routine in order to educate the child while also ensuring that he or she is able to take advantage of all the communication available to them.
4. Keep it Fun
The last thing a child wants to do is something that seems to upset their parents. By keeping a light and fun attitude when dealing with a child’s hearing aids, parents can have a strong impact on how the child approaches the wearing and care of her devices. You may choose to make up songs for associated tasks or perhaps you engage in some other form of healthy encouragement.
5. Listen to Your Child
If your child is suddenly reacting differently to the idea of wearing her hearing aid, then it may need some servicing. On the other hand, older children who have grown used to their devices may want other options such as the different patterns and colors that have become available in recent years. By listening to your child, you can be sure that he or she will embrace the use of the devices and benefit from all they offer.
6. Watch Your Child
Hearing aids are expensive and while many insurance companies cover the cost, they are usually limited to only one or two every few years or so. This can become costly if parents are not vigilant in helping their child care for his hearing aids. Many of them cannot get wet, dirt will interfere with their effectiveness, and dropping them can be catastrophic. Parents should watch their children carefully to avoid costly accidents.
7. Involve Others
These tips are not only good for parents, they can be adopted by others as well including friends, family members, and teachers. Being sure that everyone in a child’s life knows how to encourage the use of, and how to properly care for, his hearing aids will help not only the child adapt and learn, it will also help others understand hearing loss.
8. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
In addition to avoiding moisture and dirt, extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on hearing aids. Some regions reach temperatures as high as 120 degrees during the summer while others plummet to well below zero. If you live in one of these regions, it is imperative that you keep an eye on the thermometer in order to protect your child’s devices from damage.
9. Check Them Often
Having your child fitted for a hearing aid is not the end of the line. Not only should your child’s hearing loss be continually monitored, his devices need to be checked regularly, as well. Parents themselves can keep a lookout for signs of damage and shortened battery life. Taking the hearing aids into the child’s audiologist will ensure they are still the right and proper for the child.
10. Store Properly
Proper storage of hearing aids and their batteries is essential to keeping them in good repair. Audiologists often suggest the use of dehumidifiers for overnight storage as daily life will encourage moisture buildup and effect the devices. Batteries should be removed and stored safely away from children and pets and the compartment door needs to be left open for proper ventilation.
By learning how to encourage the use, and proper care, of a child’s hearing aids, parents can teach their children how to enjoy full and happy lives no matter the state of their hearing loss.