How to Know What Is the Best Hearing Aid for Kids
Almost every parent wants to do the best thing for their child. But finding the best hearing aid for kids can seem confusing, and it’s hard to know where to start. Plus, a lot of brands try to make theirs sound like the best option. I hear you.
There are some things to consider. Any hearing aid is an investment and needs to be thought through. So today, I’d like to take some time to share with you what you might consider.
When Can My Child Get His or Her First Hearing Aid?
I tell my parents and caregivers that a child as young as four weeks old can benefit from a hearing aid if they’re not hearing well. Just think about all the things children are learning from day one! Hearing is an important part of learning, speech, communication, and connection to family.
Research shows that children who get hearing aids before six (when needed) can learn and interact as their peers in most cases.
Who Pays for Hearing Aids?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a U.S. law that makes sure children who need hearing aids can get them, often FOR FREE if the child qualifies. They also support parents through family-centered education.
The IDEA program does not pay for hearing aid directly. Instead, it helps parents get access to programs that do. Some health insurance pays up to a certain age. And if you’re on Medicaid, the program must provide access to some of the best hearing aids to children. Child audiology appointments and services may also be covered.
Yes, your child’s hearing is that important!
I can help you learn more about your child’s needs, as well as the services that may be available to you (many of them free or discounted thanks to IDEA).
Best Hearing Aid for Kids: What Are the Options?
So here’s the secret to finding the best hearing aid for children. Every child is different, and there are many types of hearing loss. If a child has one kind of hearing loss and his older brother has a different kind or severity, no, they can’t share a hearing aid. Each hearing aid is fine-tuned to the person who will be wearing it.
As an audiologist, I support the parents who meet with me. I help them understand the type and severity of their child’s hearing loss and the best hearing aid for kids that matches that child’s unique needs.
A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid is usually the best hearing aid for kids for a few reasons.
- Easy for a child to handle (by a certain age)
- Easy to clean
- Designed to allow parents to adjust controls as needed
- Has a built-in listen check for parents and caregivers
- Works of many types of hearing loss
- It is much more durable than other styles
So in most cases, I would call the BTE the best hearing aid for kids.
Some extra features that can enhance your child’s life include those that allow your child to connect with devices, smart technology, and other assistive services through features like:
Will My Child Grow Out of Their Hearing Aid?
Like many earbuds, hearing aids come with earmolds that I can swap for other ones as your child’s ears grow. As long as they take care of their hearing aid, they should be able to keep wearing the same one for several years.
If your child is experiencing signs of hearing loss or someone has confirmed that your child has hearing loss, please come see me. I look forward to meeting you and your little one.