Hearing Aids for Children

Children of all ages can use hearing aids. An audiologist can find the best hearing aid for your child.

More information on this topic can be found in our Audiology Information Series [PDF].

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Children with hearing loss can have trouble with speech, language, and social skills. They may have trouble learning in school. It is important to have your child's hearing tested and get them help early.

See an Audiologist

Your child should see an audiologist for hearing testing. The audiologist can find the best hearing aids for your child, if she needs them. Babies as young as 4 weeks old can wear hearing aids. Getting aids early will help your child’s development.

The audiologist will talk to you about what the aids can and cannot do for your child. You will also learn how to take care of the aids. You will need to learn to adjust the hearing aids for young children. Older children can learn to adjust their own aids.

Find the Best Hearing Aid for Your Child

Not every aid works for every child. Your audiologist will find the best aids for your child. The audiologist will talk to you about what your child does during the day and what he needs.

As your child grows, her ear grows. This means that she will need new earmolds on a regular basis. At home and at school, your child may connect to hearing assistive technology systems, or HATS. Your child's aids should have features that connect to these systems.

There are different types of hearing aids. The best type for your child depends on his needs and skills. The behind-the-ear, or BTE, hearing aid is the most common for young children because

  • it can attach to different earmold types,
  • the earmold is easy to replace as your child grows,
  • the earmold is easy to handle and clean, 
  • you can do a listening check and adjust the aid,
  • it works with many types of hearing loss,
  • it can include features that connect with HATS, and
  • the earmolds are soft and safe for small ears.

In-the-ear, or ITE, styles are more common for adults and older children.

Keep Hearing Aids on Your Child

Hearing aids work only if your child wears them. This is not always easy. Young children may pull them out. Older children may not like them or may refuse to wear them.

Your child will have less trouble wearing aids if she has worn them since she was a baby. Children who do not wear their hearing aids all the time will have more trouble.

Start by putting the hearing aids on your child while you are doing something fun. Increase how long he wears them until he has them in all day. Teach your young child that only adults put aids in or take them out. Your older child may want colored earmolds or aids. He may want to wear these more than plain earmolds.

There are ways to keep the hearing aids on your child. You can use two-sided tape made for wigs or toupees. Light caps or headbands may work.

Hearing aids are easy to lose. To help your child keep her aids, you can tie a string to them and pin them to her shirt. Or, use hearing aid clips. Your audiologist will help you find the best way for your child.

To find an audiologist near you, visit ProFind.

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