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Preparing for Overnight Camp with Hearing Aids

Are you preparing to send your child to overnight camp this summer? If so, and your child wears hearing aids, here are five things you can do to prepare so that your youngster enjoys their time away and returns with their valuable devices intact.

Call or visit your child’s hearing care professional

Many hearing aids are robust enough to stand up to the elements. If you aren’t sure how sturdy your child’s hearing aids are, the time to ask is before they head off into an environment where exposure to water, dirt, dust, and sweat is inevitable. If your child doesn’t have water-resistant hearing aids, ask for suggestions on how to protect them, such as waterproof headbands and similar protective gear. If you’re fortunate enough to have a hearing care professional who offers the free myHearing™ App, you should be able to get all the info you need via a quick CareChat™ session.

Chat with the director/staff 

Before camp begins, arrange a call or visit with the director and counselors to discuss your child’s needs.  Offer to answer any questions or address concerns the camp staff may have. Keep the tone positive by focusing on everything your child can do on their own or with reasonable assistance. Make sure you’re comfortable that the counselors and others responsible for your child have experience working with campers who have hearing loss and/or wear hearing aids, or that they at least have a working knowledge of what is required of them. Here are some topics to cover during your discussion:

Pack everything they’ll need for maintenance

There’s so much to remember when helping your child pack up for sleepaway camp. A good general tip is to create a checklist in advance and then tick items off the list as they are packed. Here’s a list specifically for hearing aid usage and maintenance:

 

Create a how-to guide

If you don’t have a spare guide from your hearing care professional on how to care for your child’s hearing aids, consider putting together a notebook, printout, or even a short video tutorial for the camp. Your family can have fun creating a personalized hearing aid care primer that explains how to properly insert and remove hearing aids, change batteries, adjust programs, and keep devices clean and functioning.

Provide emergency contact information

Give the camp a list of phone numbers and/or emails to reach you at home, work, or while traveling, as well as names and contact information for emergency backups in case you are unreachable. Make sure you let your alternate contacts know they are on your list, and that you include emergency contact information for your child’s hearing care professional. Again, if the professional uses the myHearing App, your child can simply download it to their smartphone before leaving and use it to reach out to their hearing care professional if needed (e.g., for a simple remote hearing aid adjustment).