Pediatric hearing aids have the same basic components that adult models have and work in the same way. However, there are some notable differences as well.
Differences Between Pediatric and Adult Hearing Aids
- Size. Obviously, pediatric hearing aids are more compact than those for adults as children’s ears are both smaller and shaped differently.
- Appearance. Children’s hearing aids are usually bigger, brighter and louder. Children and adults have different preferences when it comes to the appearance of their devices. While adults often want something as sleek and understated as possible, children enjoy bright colors and fun designs.
- Sturdiness. Children aren’t naturally as careful with their possessions as adults. Because of this, pediatric hearing aids are built for more durability, which is another reason why they can appear larger in size.
- Large LEDs. Adults and teenagers with hearing loss can tell when their device isn’t working properly and either fix the problem themselves or contact their audiologist for help. Young children aren’t always as aware if their device is malfunctioning in some way or can’t verbalize if something isn’t working, so they include an LED feature. These lights can let parents and other caregivers know if the hearing aid is working properly.
- Tamper-proof. Hearing aid batteries are small and pose a potential choking hazard to young children. This is why pediatric hearing aids often come with a tamper-proof battery compartment to protect their safety.
- Simplified apps. Many adult hearing aids can sync to your smartphone and come with a corresponding app that can help you configure your device’s settings. Children’s hearing aids can also come with apps. However, they are often much simpler and easier to use. Some also can serve as a way for parents to monitor their children’s hearing health.
Additionally, while there are different styles of pediatric hearing aids, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) states that behind-the-ear (BTE) models are the most commonly used for children with hearing loss. This is primarily because:
- The earmold is easy to clean and simple to replace as your child grows
- It’s an effective model for different types of hearing loss
- The earmolds are soft and safe for smaller ears
Treat Pediatric Hearing Loss To Prevent Developmental Delays
Untreated hearing loss can significantly impact a child’s development, especially when it comes to their speech and language skills. Children with hearing loss can experience delays when it comes to speaking their first words and learning to read and can even hamper their ability to form social connections at places like Nature’s Way Preschool.
Pediatric hearing aids can help children meet the same developmental milestones as their peers and improve their ability to communicate with others and do well in school.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to have your child’s hearing evaluated, call Austin Auditory Specialists today.