Paediatric Hearing Aids for Babies and Children
Cute baby boy wearing hearing aid

Paediatric Hearing Aids for Babies and Children

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Hearing loss is much more common among the population than we might think, as it has been studied that most individuals lose hearing to varying degrees with age. However, some people are born with this condition or develop it at a very early age, so their situation is very different from that of other adults who begin to lose hearing with age.

When talking about hearing impairment problems in children, we have to understand that the hearing aids used for them differ from those offered to adults; the functions and needs are also different. This is why it is very important that, if your child develops hearing problems, you ensure that you find the right hearing aids for them and, therefore, get the right advice.

In this article, we’re here to give you a little guide to help you understand some of the key points about the characteristics of paediatric hearing aids, such as what types of hearing aids are available, their advantages and the best brands. So, if your child suffers from hearing loss, you can use this article to help you find the best options.

Hearing aid recommendations for children

When choosing hearing aids for children, we need to understand that these devices do not perform the same function for them as they do for adults and that we, therefore, need to look for certain essential features in them. Unlike adults, children with hearing loss are still at a developmental age, which means they still need to develop their speech and understanding, so hearing aids must provide them with this support.

When we talk about children’s hearing aids, we have to think that they must be of the best possible quality to make listening easier in any environment because children’s hearing needs are much greater than those of adults. The listening devices we choose must be able to access all the sound spectrums of speech.

A child who does not adequately develop language through listening will have many problems in the future, knowing how to function in society. So hearing aids must meet their needs in all aspects related to this area and, therefore, must provide them with the best possible listening results.

For this reason, more and more hearing aids are being developed that implement wireless technology to give children access to various multimedia devices through which they receive sound directly to ensure that the best possible quality is delivered to them. This is essential for children, as it would amount to lossless listening. In addition to this, it is also essential that the sound reaches them without any delay.

Characteristics of paediatric hearing aids

Therefore, when we talk about paediatric hearing aids, we refer to listening devices specially designed to be used by children. They meet all the requirements we have explained in the previous point because they are essential for proper development.

Thus, these hearing aids correct hearing loss in children in a different way than the use of hearing aids in adults, and for this reason, they need to have the characteristics mentioned below:

  • They are customisable: One of the biggest problems with children is that they refuse to wear them for fear of feeling left out. Precisely for this reason, there are very different paediatric hearing aids available in different colours, sizes and shapes that aim to make children feel as comfortable as possible and to make them lose their embarrassment at the idea of wearing them.
  • They have the latest technology: As we have already explained, wireless connectivity that allows them to synchronise with multimedia devices is essential for children, as it is directly related to good cognitive and language development. This is also essential for children to learn in the classroom, as these hearing aids should always have audio ports compatible with the classroom’s FM systems.
  • They must be accessible: Another essential aspect is that these hearing aids must provide full access to the different spectrum sounds so that children have all the basic auditory information they need to cope with their daily lives. In addition to all this, another requirement is that these paediatric hearing aids offer the option of disabling the manual volume control so that children do not have to worry about inadvertently adjusting inappropriate settings.
  • They are more robust: Children run, jump and play, so with so much activity, it is more likely that these hearing aids could be knocked or dropped. Unlike other hearing aids for adults, paediatric hearing aids are distinguished by their greater resistance to withstand any incident. In this way, they are much more resistant to wear and tear and water. They should also always be resistant to dust and moisture.
  • Comfort comes first: Apart from necessity issues, comfort is extremely important for children to feel comfortable using these devices. One of the aspects that makes paediatric hearing aids especially comfortable is that they always come with rechargeable batteries instead of needing batteries, so children can be unconcerned about this action, making them feel self-conscious.

 

Now that you know the essential features of children’s hearing aids, you must pay attention to all these details when shopping for hearing aids. While most brands of children’s hearing aids fit these characteristics, some are better than others, as discussed below.

Types of paediatric hearing aids

When choosing hearing aids, it is not only necessary to consider all the factors mentioned above in terms of children’s needs. But it is also important to know that each type of hearing aid works differently, as it has a different size, placement in the ear and different functions.

In-the-ear or invisible (ITE):

This type of hearing aid is placed directly inside the ear to guarantee its user the best sound quality. However, these must be correctly customised, as they are completely customised to fit the individual’s ears.

In-the-ear hearing aids do not have any external connectors or wires, making them the most discreet model on the market. They are generally suitable for all degrees of hearing loss.

In addition, this hearing aid model usually has volume control, which is understood to be one of the essential features of children’s development. However, it is also more susceptible to moisture in the ear and wind noise and should be checked more often to ensure that earwax does not interfere at all with the device’s functioning.

In Canal (RIC):

Unlike the previous one, this other type of hearing aid is not a custom-made option for the user but is usable by any individual, as it is meant as an open-fitting hearing aid. This behind-the-ear hearing solution works using a small wire-like tube that is virtually invisible and conducts sound directly into the ear canal.

This hearing aid is placed behind the ear, making it virtually invisible. It is designed in colours that resemble skin tones or hair tones, so it also has simple and elegant designs. The great thing about these hearing aids for children is that they are very lightweight and are specially designed to counteract any kind of movement, so they barely move in the ear.

In addition to all this, these hearing aids incorporate the latest sound processing technologies. They can eliminate all types of interference and ambient noise, making them very useful for picking up only the sound frequencies necessary for children’s development.

Behind-The-Ear (BTE):

This other option is quite similar to the previous model, as we are talking about a hearing aid placed behind the ear and fully adaptable to any ear and any type of hearing loss. This is because it does not need to be designed for each individual.

The housing of this hearing aid is placed behind the ear, and it is through the connection of the tube that fits into the ear that the information is transmitted quickly and easily. The earpieces of this type of hearing aid can be created with a custom-made mould to fit as closely as possible to the shape of your ear. This allows for different degrees of opening of the ear canal so that the device fully conforms to the hearing loss and is comfortable in the ear.

This type of hearing aid also has wireless connectivity, such as the one mentioned above, which is essential for children. The size of this behind-the-ear hearing aid is so comfortable to use that many children will forget they are wearing it. Power is also one of the strengths of this type of hearing aid, and many of them have rechargeable batteries to avoid constantly changing them.

The best brands of children’s hearing aids

Now that we have a broad understanding of the main features that a paediatric hearing aid should have, we can go straight to the brands that specialise in creating this type of hearing aid. It will also be very important to choose a brand with a range of special children’s hearing aids because, in this way, we will know that they are best suited to the requirements necessary to offer comfort and performance to children.

For this reason, below, we leave you with some of the best examples of children’s hearing aids so that you can find among this variety the one that best suits your little one’s needs:

Phonak:

One of the most successful brands in children’s hearing aids is because they understand the keys to child development and implement them in their paediatric hearing aids.

Some of the features of their children’s hearing aids are the creation of the first operating system that has been designed for children called AutoSense Sky OS, which fully optimises the listening experience; its smart connectivity, its ability to be fully rechargeable and last for more than 10 hours listening to multimedia content, and the specific design for children that combines colours and shapes to make them fun and comfortable.

Widex:

That other brand specialises in pure, natural sound and has created a series of hearing aids that avoid the annoying desynchronisation that makes artificial sound.

It has connectivity, so multimedia content can be appreciated as clearly as possible. It also has very discreet recharging, as the charger is compact and easy to use.

On top of all this, this brand’s hearing aids have been specially designed with a highly water-resistant coating, making them even more durable and preventing moisture from seeping into the ear canal.

ReSound:

Finally, that third brand uses Smart Hearing technology that fully facilitates listening and sound quality to provide full speech access, allowing children to connect much better with the world around them.

Like the other two models, this one also features the option of wireless connectivity, as these headphones practically function as wireless stereo headphones that offer children a complete connection.

The personalisation of these headphones also manifests itself in the volume setting, allowing you to save different settings for home and school and tag them so that each one is activated upon arrival at the appropriate location.

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