Avoiding the Hearing Aid: Protecting Your Child’s Ears

A hearing aid is an important piece of technology for those with auditory impairment, but not even manufacturers will claim their product is a perfect substitute for natural ears. Because noise damage is final in most cases, you should do everything you can to make sure your child’s ears are protected. Here’s how. It’s an overused cliché applied to any number of body parts, but it remains true: you only have one set of ears. In many respects, it’s more true for the ears than it is for, say, the eyes. Wearing glasses or having LASIK more or less perfectly mimics natural 20/20 vision for those who are nearsighted. The same cannot be said of a hearing aid. While an important piece of technology for those with auditory impairment, not even the most eager manufacturers will claim that their product is a perfect substitute for natural ears. Because noise damage is final in most cases, you should do everything you can to make sure your child’s ears are protected. Here’s how.Regular TestsNot only will regularly having your child’s ears checked alert you to a problem if one exists, it imparts a lesson onto the child: your ears are important. This is something a lot of adults forget. We are constantly reminded to put on sunscreen before we go to the beach and we know to go to the dentist every six months, but once an adult is out of school, they seldom think twice about their ability to hear. If you make sure your child knows that an audio test is an important regular part of their life, it’s a lesson they will carry with them long after they are grown, possibly keeping them from needing a hearing aid in the future.Model Good BehaviorVisit a mineshaft in West Virginia some time and take note of how many of the workers are wearing respirators. Even though it has been proven scientifically that being exposed to coal dust on a regular basis can have a devastating effect on the lungs, seeing workers taking steps to protect themselves will be a rare sight. This is mostly due to a self-perpetuating environment. If no one else is wearing a respirator, would you? This lesson can be easily transferred to ear protection. If you never grew up seeing your parents wearing earplugs when attending concerts, mowing the lawn, or doing anything else, how likely are you to start doing it? Model good behavior for your kids and they’ll be far less likely to need a hearing aid before they hit their senior years.MusicKids, especially teenagers, love to listen to music. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. But they also have a tendency to appreciate music at high volumes and there is something wrong with that. Monitor how loudly your child listens to his or her music and hammer home the message that listening too loudly can cause irreparable damage.