When heading back to school, children will need the typical school supplies so they can start the new school year on the right foot. However, if you are a parent of a child who wears hearing aids, you will have to add a few more things to the list. There’s a bit more preparation involved to help both you and your child become more confident about starting school. Especially since back-to-school jitters are common, even for children without hearing loss. However, for a child with hearing loss, these jitters can be compounded, so it’s important to be prepared with these back-to-school hearing aid tips.
If you are looking to prepare your child for the new school year successfully, check out these helpful back-to-school hearing aid tips.
• You want to make your child’s life easier, so ensure that they are prepared daily. In their backpack, they need to have extra hearing aid batteries just in case the ones in their device give out. If your child is young, give a few spare batteries to their teacher for safekeeping, as well as their hearing aid kit. However, if your child is old enough, keep extra batteries, as well as a hearing aid cleaning kit in a hard-shell storage kit. In this hearing aid kit, include a small cheat sheet that contains the necessary information about the hearing aid, as well as a few sheets of fabric softener. Fabric softener sheets can help discharge electricity from the device, limiting built-up static electricity.
• Talk to the school staff, teachers, and even to your child’s coach (if applicable) about your child’s hearing impairment, and inform them that your child wears hearing aids. Without this knowledge, they may think your child is ignoring them if a problem occurs. Educate them on your child’s particular hearing aid model, and what to do if there’s a technical issue. If your child has any special needs, be sure to communicate what their specific needs are, this way they can better support your child. Developing a relationship with your child’s teacher can help you stay on top of any potential issues, and will allow you to monitor your child’s hearing aid usage.
• During physical education class, or if your child plays sports, accidents can happen. Hearing aids can fall out or become damaged due to sweat. So in your child’s storage kit, make sure there’s adhesive or clips available to help prevent the hearing aid from shifting or falling out during physical activity. Also, excess moisture and wetness are not friendly to hearing aids. So, include a hearing aid sleeve that will help protect the hearing aid from dirt, sweat, and rain. This way, you never have to worry about a surprise rain shower during recess. However, make sure your older child or your young child’s teachers know how to care for the hearing aids in case water, dirt, or moisture entered the device.
• Children, especially young children, are often curious and ask a lot of questions. Because kids are inquisitive, it is essential to prepare your child for questions from other students. They will happen, and while their peers may not mean to be disrespectful, your child may still get their feelings hurt. It is best to prepare your child for questions, and inform them that questions may be asked. Kids are curious by nature when they see something they are not yet aware of, so let your child know that these questions will happen, and it’s ok. Educate your child about their hearing loss and device so that they can speak about it with confidence.