I just learned that my child needs hearing aids. What do I need to know?

September 10, 2015 by Simon Dufort

© Gear for Ears

Photo: © Gear for Ears
It is perfectly normal to experience a rush of questions and concerns. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions from parents of children that need to be fitted with hearing aids.
  • A baby can be fitted with hearing aids as early as 4 weeks of age.
  • In Quebec, almost all of the costs will be covered by Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). Eligibility criteria for children under 12 are very inclusive: if the hearing impairment may compromise the child’s speech and language development, RAMQ will cover consultations with an audioprosthetist and will pay for hearing aids.
  • Hearing aid batteries and cleaning products are not covered, but they are inexpensive (approx. $10/month).
  • The audioprosthetist will choose the best hearing aids based on your child’s audiology profile and ear morphology, as well as hearing aid durability and ease of handling. BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids are usually recommended for children because of their versatility and ruggedness.
  • Your child will be able to wear hearing aids when practicing any sport, including contact sports (martial arts), gymnastics (tumbling and headstands!), and watersports. That’s right! There are water-resistant hearing aids* that allow children to submerge their head.
  • For sports that require a helmet (like biking, skiing, or hockey), simply have your child try on various models with hearing aids on so you can find the most comfortable one.
  • No matter the activity, we re-commend wearing specially designed “sport clips,” a sport band, or spandex sleeves (see picture above) to hold the hearing aids tightly in place.
  • The audioprosthetist will adjust your child’s hearing aids to maximize speech intelligibility and foster language and communication skills. Maximum output will also be set to protect against intense noise.
  • Several assistive listening devices can be used as a complement. An FM system (the teacher wears the emitter around the neck and the receiver is connected to the child’s hearing aids) will aid understanding in class. Wireless Bluetooth connectivity modules can also be connected to a TV or computer to transmit sound directly to the hearing aids, just like earphones would.
  • If you have questions about pediatric fitting or would like professional support for your child, consult an audioprosthetist.
To determine which hearing aids are best for you, consult an audioprosthetist.
*Model not eligible for the RAMQ refund.