Every day brings a new constellation of different sounds and voices to your baby. In the home environment, the hearing instruments will enable your baby to hear all that is going on in this relatively quiet environment. When you are spending time with your baby in these circumstances, it is important to reduce distracting background noise as much as possible, for example by switching off the TV and radio and staying close to your baby when you are talking.
As you complete household tasks, like vacuuming or doing the dishes, it is not possible to stay so close to your baby that your voice is within an optimal distance from the hearing instruments microphone. Additionally, you or your baby's caregiver will want to go out and about and in these situations, such as a visit to the zoo, family gatherings, going out for a walk in the buggy or a supermarket visit, a Roger system can be a huge help. These wireless systems transfer speech directly to the hearing instrument so there is no loss of quality in noisy places.
One of the most common and yet completely preventable causes of permanent sensorineural hearing loss is exposure to sound levels that are excessively loud. High noise levels first cause temporary and then permanent damage to the sensory hair cells within the cochlea. Even young children may be exposed to sounds that could be damaging to their hearing. Noise produced by various modes of transportation (trains, airplanes etc.) and home appliances (stereo music equipment, power tools, lawn mowers, hair dryers, etc.) may be damaging to hearing depending upon the closeness to the noise source and the exposure time. Moreover, some toys may actually produce intense sound, and certainly sound levels at some music concerts can damage hearing.
Monitor the level of noise your child is exposed to. If speech must be raised (shouted) to communicate, it is very likely that the noise is excessive and possibly damaging. Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) after noise exposure also indicates excessive sound levels. Children should be told about the dangers of noise exposure and the use of ear protection (ear plugs, ear muffs, etc.). When ear protection is unavailable, simply block the ear canal opening with your fingers. This serves to reduce the level of sound going to the eardrum. Children should be protected from excessive noise exposure whenever possible.
As a parent, you can set examples for your child. When mowing the lawn or using noisy tools or appliances, use hearing protection, and insist that your child playing nearby does the same. Such habits will help both your hearing and that of your child.