When you learn that your toddler has a medical condition that affects the ability to process audio information, you may feel a mix of emotions. You might be surprised that your child is unable to hear clearly, especially if your little one babbles or reacts to loud noises. You may feel sad that your child needs a listening device or worry about your child's future.
Learning about how your child's listening device works may help assuage some of your concerns, so review the information below and speak with a hearing-impairment expert if you have additional questions:
Can a child swim or bathe while wearing a listening device?
Many listening devices should not be submerged in water, but this restriction depends on the make and model that you choose. If your toddler takes swimming lessons or you fear that you'll forget to remove the device before bath time, talk to a hearing specialist. Your child may be a good candidate for a waterproof listening device.
If you end up buying a hearing aid that isn't water resistant and your toddler gets it wet, don't panic. Remove the hearing aid immediately, and carefully shake out any excess water. Lay the device on a sheet of newspaper so it can dry, and contact your hearing-care provider ASAP to find out whether the device is damaged.
Does a hearing aid help my child learn to communicate verbally?
Hearing loss can affect your child's development, so it's important to address any hearing-related concerns in a timely manner. Reports show that kids who are outfitted with hearing aids by 6 months of age develop language skills that rival kids with perfect hearing.
The brain reaches 80% of its adult size by age 3, which is another reason why it may be beneficial to let your hearing-impaired toddler wear a listening device. If you find that your child is having a hard time adjusting to verbal cues, even after the hearing aid is inserted, a habilitation program at an established hearing-care center may help.
How do I know if the hearing aid fits comfortably in my child's ear?
The medical professional who inserts the hearing aid in your toddler's ear will carefully examine your child prior to recommending a specific listening device. The device will probably slide in easily and fit comfortably, but some factors, such as inner ear damage that occurs after the initial consultation, may affect the fit. Keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Your child complains of itchiness in the ear
- Tugging, scratching, or even punching the ear may indicate that a non-verbal toddler is uncomfortable
- Your child asks you to repeat things or turns the TV up louder than usual, which may mean the hearing aid does not fit well
Hearing aids are safe, effective devices that help your toddler experience the world. If you have questions about a current hearing aid or want to learn whether your child could benefit from a listening device, contact a reputable hearing-care specialist today. To learn more, contact a company like Suburban Hearing Services.