One of the greatest blessings in life is having grandchildren to love, and with that comes a responsibility to watch out for the health and safety of those little ones. Kids are curious about the world around us and you may need to make sense of a few things if you have hearing loss and wear hearing aids. While you have a minute take some time to go over our tips for talking to your grandchildren about hearing health, your hearing aids, your hearing loss experience.
“Grandpa, what is that in your ear?” How do you explain hearing aids to a young child? The best thing you can do is to be as direct as possible and help them understand the significance of hearing loss. Tell them you do not hear as well as you used to and explain that the hearing device in your ear helps make sounds louder so you can hear sounds better. Describe your experience when your granddaughter says “thank you” and you can hear her more clearly or when your grandson says “you’re welcome” your hearing aids help carry his voice to your brain. Kids need to understand what hearing loss is like. To do this you can invite the children to place their hands over their ears and speak to them softly. After that ask them to remove their hands from their ears and speak to them again. Inquire how the world sounded with their hands over their ears and without their hands over their ears to help them understand how your hearing aids help you.
A child’s curious nature is important to foster but it is also important to instruct the little ones on how to be cautious with your hearing aids. You want to explain that your hearing devices are not toys to be played with and although they work to help you hear better, everybody’s ears work differently so they are for your ears only. When your hearings aids are not in your ears store them away so curiosity cannot get the best of the kids. Also, store your hearing aid batteries out of reach so the little ones cannot get ahold of them and potentially swallow them.
Encourage Practice of Healthy Hearing Habits
You want to consider how you and your loved ones are modeling good hearing health habits for the kids. Set a good example for your grandchildren — do not blast the car radio and be sure to encourage everyone to use hearing protection at loud events and concerts. Educate them about how nearly 50 million Americans, including 1 in 5 teenagers, suffer from hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable, so encourage them to stick to a few simple rules from the Hearing Health Foundation. Block, walk, and turn. Either block the noise by wearing earplugs, walk away from loud noises, and/or turn down the sound. Most of all, wear your hearing aids proudly! Illustrate to them how getting help for hearing loss can be easy and incredibly rewarding!