Read on for our top tips on cleaning children’s hearing aids, cochlear implants and other devices…
For all children, including children with hearing loss, speech, social and emotional development can depend greatly on exposure to different sounds and speech. Children’s hearing aids and cochlear implants should ideally be worn for all waking hours but long periods of wear can mean a lot of dirt can get into your child’s hearing device and wax can build up inside the tube, as well as on the outside of the earmold. Maintenance of children’s hearing aids and children’s cochlear implants can be a real chore, but here are some tips that can make cleaning a little easier. Click on the titles for a link to where you can purchase these items, if you’re interested, or read further for some tips on saving money with alternatives…
Hearing aids should be ideally cleaned every day but it can be far easier and more convenient to use wipes to clean your earmolds rather than soap and water every time, though for heavy wax build up, a thorough clean will still be needed. You can buy specialist hearing aid cleaning wipes such as Rayovac or otherwise use baby wipes, preferably ones for sensitive skin, just in case.
Children have sensitive ears, and the last thing you need is for your deaf child’s ears to be irritated by your hearing aid or cochlear implant cleaning product. You can buy cleansing sprays for hearing aids from most pharmacies and even supermarkets. Just look for one that is suitable for children.
A drying tub for hearing aids and cochlear implants is absolutely essential and the NHS will provide one when your child is diagnosed with hearing loss. Make sure you place both the hearing aid electronic device and freshly cleaned earmolds in the box each night to help dry and prolong the life of your hearing aid. In fact, it’s beneficial to place your hearing aids into a dehumidifier every night whether you have given them a good clean or not, just to make sure moisture isn’t building up over time. If you are happy to spend the extra money, you can also purchase electornic dehumidifiers which aim to dry hearing aids and cochlear implants more quickly and can help to eradicate bacteria. Some use heat and some use standard dessicant bricks.
A range of different tools can be purchased from many online stores or even pharmacies to help to clean adults and children’s hearing aids and cochlear implants. Sets usually include a battery door opener, a pick to help remove wax, and a brush to help clean tubing. Multi-tools can be really useful in making cleaning children’s hearing aids a lot easier but they can also be expensive. We do use alternatives sometimes that can be cheaper or good if you have lost your tools. For example, you can sometimes use the eye end of a needle to remove wax from the tube as an alternative to a pick, as the eye works like a hook that helps drag out the wax. Similarly, interdental brushes can be bought cheap from supermarkets, or even pound shops, to help clean the more hard to get to, finicky areas of hearing aids, and are cheaper than multi-tool specialist brushes.
Sometimes hearing aids can get sticky, especially when they’ve been worn by a child running around in the mud all day. For stubborn spots of dirt or grease, you need to clean them but you want to avoid being too abrasive, especially with earmolds for very young deaf children as they can tear easily due to their size. We find a soft child’s toothbrush is perfect for gently scrubbing away at hearing devices – just make sure you remember to keep your cleaning brush far away from the bathroom so your little one doesn’t accidentally brush their teeth with it the next day!!