There are some very big challenges that come with hearing aids and children. One of the major questions is “How long should I have my child wear their hearing device each day?” Many children, especially young children, don’t connect the dots between wearing their hearing device and being able to hear better. They may not like wearing them, which may cause some tension in your house if you want them to wear their hearing aids all day.
As parents, it’s important to pick your battles. In this article we really want to look at whether or not this is one fight worth picking. (Spoiler: It is!)
Why should your kids wear hearing aids?
Kids, especially youngsters, learn a lot by hearing during their first several years. Before kindergarten, the majority of their learning comes from listening to the world around them. They’re learning words and sentences. Their brains are laying the foundation for them to start learning how to read.
In addition, the majority of a person’s brain development happens in the first two years. That makes it very important for their audio to be loud and clear. In order to set your child up for success, the goal should be for them to wear their hearing device during every waking hour. This will help keep your child from getting behind in areas like speech, social skills, and language. Remember, their brain is developing so rapidly during this time. It can be difficult for them to make up this ground later.
Taking a break
We know this is a tough one. As your child grows, they may not always want to have their hearing devices in. It may be tempting to remove them for an hour or two, as a “hearing aid break”. Audiologists really discourage this, because the brain is still growing and learning how to process sounds and make sense of sentences.
Most of the social rules that children learn happen between the ages of 2 and 5. If you can hold strong and ensure that your child wears their hearing device as often as possible, you’ll help set them up for success.
How to keep your hearing aids safe and sound?
Now that we’ve looked at the reasons why children should wear hearing devices, let’s explore how to keep the hearing instruments safe. While there may be behavioral reasons that your child might remove their hearing aid, it’s also very likely that they’ll misplace it as they’re playing with friends.
The idea of losing a hearing aid is pretty stressful. Not only can it be very expensive, but your child may be without a hearing device for a little bit while you get a replacement. As we talked about earlier, we really want to try to avoid this if at all possible.
There are several types of hearing aid covers that you can purchase, many of which also come in fun colors that your child will love. Oticon published a study that rated Ear Gear as the #1 retention accessory. Our Corded models have a spandex sleeve that slides over the hearing device and a stretchy cord that allows for full range of motion. A plastic clip will secure the hearing device to their shirt. When they’re playing hard and their hearing instrument falls out, it will dangle harmlessly from their shirt.
For more information and tips on hearing aids and children, check out Oticon’s study.