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Keeping hearing aids and cochlear implants on your child’s head

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

By Anita Stein-Meyers, Aud, CCC-A

Assistant Director, Shelley and Steven Einhorn Audiology Center

Child with Cochlear implant using retention device headband

CHC client Kai Haskins (photo by Michael Nicholas: @brooklynsky on Instagram)

It is challenging enough in ordinary times to keep hearing devices in place; however, if your children are also wearing masks, the challenges are multiplied.

While most masks used for medical purposes are adult size, there are many homemade and now commercial options for child-size masks, available through manufacturers and large warehouse shipping sites. So a good first step is to ensure your child’s mask fits properly. 

The following are additional suggestions to consider:

  1. Use a retention device to attach a hearing aid or cochlear implant to clothing. You can buy one online or make your own. Click here for a helpful resource with pros and cons for different devices. View the video below to see how you and your child can make a retention device at home.

  1. Use double sided tape ( fashion tape, wig tape) to secure hearing devices behind the ears.

  2. Use a headband with buttons sewn on the sides to secure mask to the head leaving ears clear for hearing devices. I found this great one from Happy Together by Jess (below right) and this creative solution from a nurse (below left).

Retention devices for people who use hearing technology
  1. Try a new hair-do. A ponytail keeps hair up and out of the way. Hair clips also help hair stay away from ears or can help hold the mask’s elastic bands in the back of the head reducing interference with the aids. 

Lastly, keep in mind the challenges that everyone who uses hearing devices faces when masks are worn by speakers. We have all seen images of clear masks, which are in high demand now, that leave the mouth visible to allow for speechreading; however, if you cannot obtain or make one, be mindful of the need to speak slightly louder or more slowly and be patient. Please remember any change in how your child responds to your voice may be attributed to the mask muffling your voice, not your child’s aids or hearing. If you have concerns, please reach out to your child’s audiologist.

If you have a great solution share it with us!  Stay safe. Stay connected! 

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