If you are not already, you may soon be serving a child with a hearing aid. Unlike glasses that help a child see more clearly and need little daily attention beyond simple cleaning, hearing aids require more detailed attention and maintenance to ensure they are functioning as they should. Young children will not be able to tell you when there is a problem, so it is up to parents, teachers, and other professionals to ensure that hearing aids are working well each day.
Common maintenance issues include checking and changing the battery, cleaning blockage from the earmold, and occasionally changing the tone hook.
If you are serving a child who wears hearing aids, you’ll want to watch an informative Hearing Aid Listening Check video that walks you through these and other troubleshooting steps. You can also print a companion handout for reference purposes. It may be especially helpful to view this video with parents, and discuss what can be done each day before the child leaves home, and what can be done at school to make sure that the child is getting the maximum access that the aids can provide to sound and language.
An audiologist can order a hearing aid care kit for you that includes:
- A listening stethoscope, that attaches to the earmold or hearing aid tone hook, so you can listen to the amplified sound.
- A battery tester.
- A wire loop and brush to remove wax from the earmold.
- An air blower to remove moisture from the earmold tubing.
Hearing aids are expensive investments, so treating them with care, and checking to make sure they are working as they should, is as important as ensuring that the child is wearing them every day.
Source: The Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Project