Helping your child to establish independant hearing aid use and care

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1 Helping your child to establish independant hearing aid use and care Information for parents and carers Department

2 This leaflet has been designed for parents, audiologists and teachers of the deaf to work with your child to encourage them to establish independent hearing aid use and care. It is a good idea to bring this to audiology appointments and also to show to the teacher of the deaf when they visit your child in school or at home. Introducing hearing aids to your child can be a difficult time for you and them. Many children immediately accept the hearing aids and wear them without any issues. When a child first starts wearing hearing aids, it is important that they wear them regularly, ideally all their waking hours. You can promote this and help your child, by encouraging them to do certain aspects of their hearing aid care themselves. All children develop differently and the ages at which they may be able to perform these tasks will vary. The first task is to encourage your child to like their hearing aids, so having a positive attitude towards the hearing aids is important. Getting your child to sit still whilst the hearing aids are inserted It is a good idea to use something to distract your child such as a favourite book or toy that they look at only whilst putting the hearing aids in. If you do this regularly then your child will learn to sit still during this time. Inserting and removing the ear moulds It is very helpful to promote this, so that your child is able to remove and insert their hearing aids themselves, this is useful for example before and after swimming lessons at school. Further this will also help with the child re-inserting their hearing aids after changing the batteries. By school age we would expect most children to be working towards removing and inserting their hearing aids themselves, however some may still need some assistance. Sometimes it can be difficult, especially with babies, to keep the hearing aids in place, this can sometimes be solved using double-sided tape. Turning the hearing aids off and on Most hearing aids are turned off and on by closing and opening the battery drawer. For very young children we often use a lockable battery drawer. Most school age children will have manual opening and closing battery drawers. You should encourage and teach your child to open and close this drawer to switch their hearing aid on and off, when in use and not in use. Changing batteries Most school age children should be taught how to change the batteries in their hearing aids. Your child should learn to firstly report when the aid is not working and if appropriate detect the low battery warning beeps. When they are developmentally ready to report this you can start to show your child how to change the batteries. Many parents get into a habit of changing the batteries on a set day each week so that the batteries last, however there will be times when the battery fails and needs replacing so it a good idea to show your child how to do this. 2 3

3 Using different programs Some child s hearing aids may have been set with different programs for different situations. Most pre-school children will have just one program and the aid will default onto that program. Some school age children will have more than one program - for example a program for using a radio aid or a loop system. Although the audiologist will have shown you and your child how to change between the programs it is a good idea to practice and show your child at home Reporting faults with the hearing aids Young children and babies may not be able to report this so it is vital that the hearing aids are checked on a regular basis. You can do this by cupping the hearing aids in your hands and listening for a whistle or by listening to them via the device issued when your child was fitted (take care if your child has a severe/profound hearing loss as the hearing aid may sound loud for someone with satisfactory hearing). School age children should be encouraged to report if their hearing aids are working well or not. A good way to help with this is to ask your child on a regular basis if the hearing aids are working ok and when there is a fault discuss this with your child so that they develop a language to describe particular faults. Hearing aid and mould management Sits still whilst aid inserted Puts earmould into ear Puts aid behind ear Turns aid on Turns aid off when removed Uses puffer to remove condensation from tubing Indicates if aid is working properly when asked Reports a fault with hearing aid Indicates when new battery is needed Can change battery Can change between programs at the correct times Skill introduced Needs help Can do independently Comments Taking care of hearing aids - cleaning, using puffer to remove condensation, and replacing tubing Has a language to describe faults with hearing aids Your child s audiologist will have provided you with a care kit when the hearing aids were issued. If you misplace any pieces from this kit or need more supplies please contact the Department. It is advisable that you perform a daily check of the hearing aids and when your child is developmentally ready you should start to involve them in this process. Can change tubing on earmould Knows when new earmould is needed Puts hearing aids in a safe place when not in use 4 5

4 BAHA bone conduction aid management Skill introduced Needs help Can do independently Comments Well done! You can now perform all tasks associated with taking care of your hearing aid/baha! Wears BAHA consistently Can attach aid independently onto abutment Turns BAHA on Turns BAHA off when removed Indicates if BAHA is working when asked Reports a fault with BAHA Takes appropriate care of BAHA Can change between programs Can attach aid to softband and put on head correctly For directions to our hospitals and departments: Visit our website for details - Department at James Cook: (children) or (adults) Friarage Department: or telephone (switchboard) 6 7

5 Comments, compliments, concerns or complaints South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is concerned about the quality of care you receive and strives to maintain high standards of health care. However we do appreciate that there may be an occasion where you, or your family, feel dissatisfied with the standard of service you receive. Please do not hesitate to tell us about your concerns as this helps us to learn from your experience and to improve services for future patients. Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) This service aims to advise and support patients, families and carers and help sort out problems quickly on your behalf. This service is available, and based, at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services. Please ask a member of staff for further information. Compiled by: Department Website: The James Cook University Hospital Marton Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 3BW. Switchboard: Friarage Hospital Bullamoor Road, Northallerton, DL6 1JG. Switchboard: Version 1, Issue Date: June 2014, Revision Date: June 2016 MICB4504

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