Skip to Main Content

Welcome to

Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.

Learn More

Children and Hearing Aids

At what age can a child use hearing aids? 

Hearing aids and assistive devices that amplify sound (make it louder) can be used with infants as early as 4 weeks old.

hearing aid

Early intervention for children with hearing loss is important for speech, learning, and development.

What hearing aids are best for children? 

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are the most common type of hearing aid used with children. An audiologist will help you know what device is best for your child’s needs.  

Benefits of behind-the-ear hearing aids include:  

  • It works for many types of hearing loss. 
  • It is easy to handle and clean. 
  • It is fairly sturdy. 
  • It can use different earmold types. 
  • The earmold can be remade as your child grows. 
  • It can be checked and adjusted by parents. 
  • It has a wide variety of adjustments in sound volume and frequency responses. 
  • It can have features such as direct audio input and telecoil, so it can be used with other listening devices or systems. 

Read more about types of hearing aids

How are hearing aids adjusted? 

Hearing aids will be adjusted as the child grows and develops. Young children are not able to adjust their own hearing aids. The hearing aid should be easy to check and adjust by parents and family caregivers. 

It is good to have hearing aids that are easy to adjust for: 

  • frequency response, 
  • the amount sounds are amplified (made louder), and 
  • the highest limits that sounds can be amplified. 

As children get older, they can respond to more complex tests for hearing aid adjustment.  

Your child will also need frequent and regularly scheduled earmold changes as the ear grows with age. 

Why is early help for hearing loss important? 

Hearing is important for a child’s speech, learning, and development. Hearing loss that occurs at a younger age has a greater effect on a child’s development. Appropriate intervention to help correct hearing loss or make up for the hearing loss can decrease the long-term impact.   

What is early intervention? 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that ensures free and appropriate early intervention programs for children who have hearing loss.   

Early intervention for infants and toddlers is family-centered and include a variety of resources and services. The goals are to: 

  • Help children develop language skills and reach milestones on schedule 
  • Help the family understand and meet the child’s needs   
  • Track the child’s progress  
  • Help the family know about resources and make decisions for services and education  

What hearing services must schools provide? 

If a student is eligible for services under IDEA, then a school: 

  • must ensure that hearing aids a student wears in school function properly 
  • provide appropriate assistive technology needed by a student, such as FM systems 
  • provide training for the use of assistive technology 

Key Points

  • Early intervention for hearing loss is important for your child’s speech, language, learning, and development. 
  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are the most common type of hearing aid used in infants and children.  
  • An audiologist will do tests and help you know what device is best for your child’s needs.  
  • Your child’s hearing aid will be adjusted as they grow and development. 
  • Free early intervention programs and school services are available for children who have hearing loss. 

Find more information by visiting Hearing Aids for Children.

Reviewed: September 2022