Parent Hacks and Tips
Parents often spend hours and hours searching for troubleshooting tips and products that can help optimize wearing, protection, or function of their child's hearing technology. The following ideas are parent submitted. They are not paid endorsements. Please research each product before purchasing and make sure that the products or tips will not void your warranty or cause any danger or harm to anyone. This is merely a parent-to-parent resource and not an official endorsement by the Coalition. If you would like to submit an idea, please email ParentHacks@DeafKidsCan.org. (Tips must come from parents or individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Please do not email an endorsemnt of your own business).
We know that it is crucial to follow the "eyes open, ears on" practice to give our kids enough langauge and listening exposure to close developmental gaps. Whether for little ears or a trip to a theme park, we have all found ourselves searching for the best ways to keep those processors or hearing aids in place. Here are some ideas to consider along with some tips for keeping technology on at different ages.
Toupee Tape - Many families find this double sided tape useful for keeping hearing aids and CI processors on the ear.
Snugfit/Huggy- This is a piece of plastic that loops around the ear to keep CI processors in place.
Ear Molds - Some CI users actually use ear molds as a retention device to keep the processors from falling off.
Ear Gear - Made for a variety of hearing aids and cochlear implant processors, ear gear is used by families to clip devices in place as well as to protect from sweat and dust.
Headbands - Etsy and other marketplaces have many options for headbands with loops to hold processors. Here are a few that our parents have been particularly fond of:
Happy Little Ears Co - Unique headbands and hats that have a lighter fabric over the hearing tech to minimize disruption of sound.
Hair Bows - Many families like to use hair bows to secure a CI processor, however please be aware that moving the processor away from the ear can interfere with developing the ability to localize sound.
Mini Claw Clips - These are great for extra security for a processor. Just clip the cable to your child's hair!
Otoclips - This is one brand name of retention clip. There are many varieties and hand made brands available via online shops. Some have loops that go around the cables or earmold tubing. Others have silicone loops that go arond the device. A variety of clip options are available as well.
Eyeglasses cords - Some families use the loop that would go around the glasses frame around the CI cables and clip the back to the child's shirt to improvise an otoclip type device.
Ball Caps - One father with CI's tucks his processors inside the fabric fold on the inside of his ball caps to keep them in place.
Namu Caps are popular for securing a device (that is separately waterproofed) for swimming. Lycra swim caps are another, similar option without the ties.
These are products that families say they wish they had found sooner. Please check any product you use to be sure it is safe to use with your device and child.
Electric Dryers! - In the Florida humidity, these dryers make a huge difference in maintaining hearing technology. There are many different ones on the market.
Skins for Hearing Aids and Processors
Skinit - Phonak, Advanced Bionics, Med El, Cochlear
Etsy - There are a lot of options here. Just check with the store to verify safety and fit for your device.
Alarm options that families use include - Sonic Boom (vibrating alarms), Smart Watches, Flashing Light and Bed Shaker Smoke Detector/Fire Alarms, iphone visual alerts and sound recognition.
Headphones - Most children prefer to use a DM system, bluetooth, or audiocable for a clear connection, but the big padded, over-the-ear style headphones tend to be the most popular solution for kids choosing to use headphones.
Parent Submitted Tips
Keep a binder with everything - doctor’s notes, dates, phone numbers for providers, IFSP, test results, audiograms. Take it with you to appointments. You can save time and extra appointments by having everything in one place and with you. Some parents also use Google Drive or similar cloud based solutions to keep a virtual binder that is always accessible.
Keep a paperclip in your purse for opening battery doors, clearing wax from a device (CAREFULLY), etc.
In a pinch, the end of an earring can open a battery door.
Carry spare parts and batteries in a small pouch or case. A generic "airpod" sized case can work well for some hearing aids.
Coloring Books from the manufacturers are great to have on hand to give to classmates/new friends. Links to digital versions: Cochlear Americas, Med El, Advanced Bionics, Phonak. The Coalition also has a series of individual coloring pages featuring children with hearing technology, which are available by request.
Swim goggles can be frustrating. Two solutions parents find helpful are wearing a swim cap and/or goggles that clip in the back.
A skull cap works well for holding processors in place when taking a helmet on and off. Kids who play baseball, softball, hockey, or football often use these.
Parents frequently ask which helmets work best with CI's. It really depends on each child's head and implant placement. Generally speaking, helmets that adjust in the back are easier to fit. Here's a breakdown with more sport specific information.
Parent Favorite Stores
We all love to share the great solutions we've found for our kids! These are Etsy and other stores that parents have recommended. The Coalition is not affiliated with and does not profit from these businesses, although some owners may be Florida parents. Like the other tips, this is a parent-to-parent resource and a place to get started. Please use your discretion and thoroughly check any product or store before purchasing.
MZCochlear - Representative toys and clothing including all hearing technology - run by a Florida parent
HappyLittleEarsCo - Innovative headbands and hats for hearing aids with mesh over the aids
HearLikeMe - Representative toys with implants, hearing aids, and BAHAs
AButtonAndAStitch - Handmade inclusive plush dolls for a variety of exceptional needs and hearing technology
DEAFinitely Bold - Cochlear implant skins
GenieBands - Soft headbands
The BAHA Bowtique - BAHA Softbands
Purple Cat Aid Charms - BAHA, CI, and Hearing Aid Softbands
Born BAHAutiful - BAHA Retention Clips
CielMiel Apparel - Representative/Inclusive toys and apparel solutions including BAHA accessible hats, Softbands, Safety Lines, and Hooks
SoundsAboutSabs - Replica hearing technology for toys
Cochlear Apparel - Representative toys and clothing
Headbands for Sophia - Cochlear and hearing aid headbands
EarSavers - Decorative retention clips
Deaftastic - Hearing aid decorations
MyEarHeadbands - Cochlear implant softbands
EarSuspenders - Retention headbands
HearingHenry - Retention headbands
MillyRoseBows - Hearing aid and implant adjustable retention headbands
This website and any links are provided for educational purposes NOT medical or legal advice. For those purposes, please consult the appropriately licensed professionals.
The links provided on this website are to resources that parents and professionals have found to be helpful and educational. As the internet is a dynamic and ever changing environment, it is possible that a linked resource could contain information not endorsed by the Coalition. The Coalition stands adamantly opposed to any discrimination or harassment in regard to age, disability, national or ethnic origin, race, religious belief, sex, political affiliation, or otherwise as may be prohibited by federal and state law.
The Coalition is, at its core, supportive of the right of parents and guardians to choose the communication mode best suited to meet the needs of their individual child, recognizing that there are many factors to consider and communication options. In focusing on the particular needs of families pursuing a listening and spoken language option, it is not the Coalition’s position that this is the best option for every child. It is, however, a particular area of need and the one that this not-for profit is organized to support.