Keeping Technology On Little Ears
It's not uncommon for little ones to try to remove their hearing aids or cochlear implants — or their hats or socks or shoes — especially at ages when motor skills are advancing and they begin to discover their ears and body. Make a commitment to keep the devices on your baby during all waking moments, and ask all of your baby's caregivers to do the same. Eventually your child will barely notice their devices, and may even start asking for them when they wake up.
Three Tips to Keep Hearing Devices On During All Waking Hours
- Distract: Draw their attention away from the device and to an activity
- Adhesive: Medical or wig tape may help keep the device on when used appropriately
- Hats: Use a hat or cap to discourage touching — special caps made for hearing devices are available
Most babies go through a phase of pulling their hearing aids off. If your baby pulls their devices off frequently, there could be an underlying problem. Talk with your LSL professional and your pediatric audiologist about any questions or concerns. Don't delay!
Making sure your child's hearing technology is always working properly is just as important as making sure they wear it during all waking moments. Since your little one can't tell you whether their devices are working, you'll need to monitor their technology with daily device checks and daily listening checks.
Remember to take five every morning. The first five minutes of the day can make a big difference in your child's progress. Get your child ready for a day full of listening and learning by making sure devices are working, batteries are charged, and devices go on as soon as your child wakes up.
Daily Device Check
Your child's pediatric audiologist or the manufacturer of your child's devices can provide you with a care kit to help complete the daily device check. Follow these steps during your daily device check:
Make sure all the parts and pieces are there and connected properly. Look for any debris or damage and ensure any settings are correct.
Check the battery has sufficient charge to power the devices. Whether you have disposable or rechargeable batteries, you should check them every day.
Device Listening Check
Listen to your baby's hearing devices yourself to make sure they are working. You'll need some extra equipment, which should come in your child's device care kit. For hearing aids, you'll hear the signal. For cochlear implants, you'll listen to the microphone and the sound picked up by it. During your test, you'll:
- Say sounds (like shh and ahh), speaking normally into the device microphone, about six inches from your mouth, listening for a clear, consistent sound with no intermittency (i.e., sound going on and off), no static, and no buzzing or clicking noted.
- Manipulate all the buttons and switches to ensure they are functioning properly.
- Squeeze the device and manipulate all of its movable parts listening for possible intermittencies when doing so.
- Open and close the battery door or disconnect and reconnect the battery to make sure that the device turns off and on appropriately.