The holidays are an exciting time, especially for children.  REC561_S_hrThe holiday season presents a great opportunity for children with hearing loss to expand their vocabulary and their hearing skills.  The right tools and tips can help your child hear his or her personal best this holiday season.

  1. Recognize “Hearing Fatigue”

Loud conversations and background music contribute to significant noise levels at holiday festivities.  This can overwhelm children with hearing loss.  There are tips and tools that can help reduce this “hearing fatigue” so your child can enjoy the holidays.  Dr. Krystyann Krywko, who has a son with hearing loss, shares “4 Tips to Avoid Holiday ‘Hearing Fatigue’ for Kids with Hearing Loss.”

  1. Educate Your Loved Ones

It is important that your family members and friends understand your child’s hearing loss.  Your friends and family will want to connect with your child.  More than likely, your loved ones will be fascinated to hear your child’s story and how they can help your child hear his or her personal best.  For example, you can ask your loved ones to be sure to face your child when they are speaking. Click here for tips on how to communicate with children with hearing loss. 

  1. Keep Your Child’s Cochlear™ Equipment in Shape

To help your child hear his or her personal best this holiday season, it’s important to routinely care for your child’s Cochlear™ Sound Processor.  Don’t forget to change the microphone protectors  on your Nucleus System once every three months or sooner if you live in a humid environment or your child perspires frequently. Make sure your Baha System has battery doors that are no more than 6 months old.  Before your child goes to a social event, be sure to use fresh batteries by either using a freshly charged rechargeable battery or replacing your disposable batteries.  Visit the online support center for Nucleus System care and maintenance tips  and Baha System care and maintenance tips.

If it has been a while since your child last visited the clinician for a “tune up”, you might want to consider scheduling an appointment.   Your child’s clinician can help fine-tune your child’s programs to ensure that your child hears his or her personal best.  For tips on maximizing your child’s Nucleus System programming appointment, click here.

  1. Prepare

Children need plenty of rest.  Ensure that your child has an opportunity to recharge before attending an event.  If you are hosting a social gathering at your home, designate your child’s room as a place where your child can take a break.  If you are attending an event at a different location, work with your child to identify a safe place rest from “hearing fatigue.”  Also, encourage your loved ones to speak to your child in a quieter setting such as a hallway.

Sometimes arriving to an event early can help you plan ahead.  This allows you to identify best listening areas such as a quieter corner of a room, find a rest stop if your child needs a listening break, coordinate accessibility such as first row seating in a place of worship, and set-up an FM system if your child uses one.

If you’re traveling for the holidays, it’s important to plan ahead. Visit the online support center for traveling tips and what to pack.

  1. Work on New Vocabulary

The holiday season and traditions often bring new and unfamiliar words to a child who is learning to speak and listen.  Spend some time with your child reading and teaching words, holiday songs, traditions, names, and so forth.  Flashcards are one effective way to introduce new words to your child’s vocabulary.  When you are engaging in a holiday activity, repeat and clearly enunciate these new words. Have your child repeat the words back to you until he or she pronounces the word correctly.  Visit Cochlear Implant Online for some handy holiday hearing tips.

  1. Have Fun!

Most importantly, help your child have fun this holiday season!  Even children with normal hearing struggle to hear in noisy environments.  Experiment with different tricks and tips that work best for your child.

Visit the online support center to learn more tips on having conversations.

If you’re an adult who personally experiences hearing loss, read this blog post on how to enjoy the holidays. 

Cochlear Guest Writer
Cochlear Americas showcases the stories of real people celebrating life's real moments. This blog was written by a guest writer for Cochlear Americas. For more information on the guest writer, please see read above.