Hearing loss travel tips for the holidays

airport-security-travel-with-hearing-loss

Holiday season is almost here and for the world’s 360 million people with hearing loss, that might mean difficulty navigating crowded, noisy airports. If you’re visiting relatives or planning to travel someplace fun, make a list of what to pack to ensure you don’t forget any of your hearing device essentials.

Here are some simple suggestions for holiday travel with hearing loss to keep in mind:

  • Extra batteries
  • Cleaning kit
  • Dry Aid Kit, particularly if you’re travelling to humid areas
  • Your wireless accessories
  • Spare battery doors (if applicable)
  • Adapter for your charger if you’re traveling abroad
  • Security Control instruction card (either download from here or found in the Baha Support App)

Travcel-with-Baha-Sound-Processor

You also might want to schedule a quick trip to see your hearing healthcare professional before you go. Together, you can determine what adjustments, if any, need to be made to your hearing devices so you can hear effectively while on vacation.

Remember, it’s okay to walk through the airport security check wearing your Baha sound processors. The metal detectors won’t damage them. Do not place them on the conveyer belt or in the plastic bins, as that may generate static electricity. Also, you do not need to turn off your sound processors on the plane when the flight attendant tells you to turn off electronic devices, though you might need to switch them onto flight mode.

Enjoy your trip!

Read more at Healthyhearing.com

Quick guide: How to attach and remove your child’s Baha sound processor

If your child has a Baha System, there are some things you need to know – and also eventually train other caregivers, such as teachers, grandparents or preschool personnel. Here’s a guide on how to correctly take their sound processors on and off.

How to snap the Baha sound processor on and offhow-to-put-the-baha-on

Does your child use the Baha Connect System? The Baha sound processor is designed to “snap” onto the abutment. Attach the sound processor at a slight angle and tilt it into place, taking care to keep any hair out of the way. The tilt technique reduces pressure on the abutment and prevents discomfort.

To remove the sound processor, gently tilt it until it snaps off. Never pull the sound processor straight out as doing so may damage it.

If the snap coupling should break, send the Baha sound processor for repair.

How to attach and remove the magnet

how-to-attach-baha-attract-magnetIf your child has the Baha Attract System, there is an external magnet with a sound processor attached which is simply placed on the head, over the internal magnet. You do, however, need to attach the Baha sound processor correctly to the magnet.

  1. Holding the magnet flat in your hand, tilt the sound processor with the buttons positioned upwards and gently snap it into place
  2. Attach the Baha Safety Line to the sound processor
  3. Place the magnet and sound processor over the implant behind your child’s ear, with the arrow on the magnet pointing upwards

Tip: The less hair underneath the magnet, the more firm the device stays on.

When taking the device off, grasp the sound processor with the magnet still attached, and gently pull it away from the head. Place one finger under the sound processor and gently tilt until it releases.

 

How to fit the Baha Softband

If your child is wearing a Baha Softband, you need to know how to fit it correctly. Children tend to push the band up on top of their head, like a hairband, but the best results are achieved when wearing the band on the forehead and the sound processor as close to the ear as possible.

baha-softband-instructionsThe Baha Softband is fitted with one or two snap connectors and a safety release (C), which are designed to open if the softband should catch on an object. Never use the safety release to open or close the softband.

The bilateral version has two sliders: one for adjusting the total length and one for adjusting the distance between the snap connectors.

  1.  First, adjust the length of the softband (B)
  2. Attach the sound processor to the snap connector (A)
  3. Place the Baha Softband on the head and adjust it to fit comfortably. A rule of thumb is that you should be able to insert one finger underneath the band.
  4. Turn the volume on the sound processor up slowly

Baha-Softband-tips-childrenAll done! Off you go!

Read also: Six Softband tips

10 Halloween tips ‘n tricks for kids with hearing loss

children-costumes-halloween

Halloween is celebrated all over the world on 31 October. It’s thought to have originated with the medieval Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. Halloween became a major holiday in North America in the 19th century, thanks to mass Irish and Scottish immigration.

Nowadays the focus is less scary and more fun for children. To avoid any mishaps, here are some tips to help your hard of hearing little ones have a safe and fun Halloween:

  1. Before purchasing a costume, double check that the mask, hat or other headgear fits comfortably and securely around your child’s Baha sound processor(s)
  2. Apply any makeup, hairspray or glitter before putting on your child’s sound processor
  3. Make sure the sound processor is functioning properly before you leave the house
  4. Attach the sound processor securely with the Baha Safety Line
  5. Pack a flashlight with fresh batteries, extra sound processor batteries, and a mobile phone for the outing
  6. Consider using the wireless Mini Microphone for extra safety
  7. Decorate costumes with reflective tape for trick-or-treating
  8. Guide young children from house to house always keeping at their side or holding their hands, particularly at crosswalks
  9. Instruct your kids not to eat any of the candy until they come home and have had the treats examined by an adult
  10. Have fun!

Baha 5 sound processors are tamper-proof for your child’s safety

attract-magnet-children

Are you a parent or caregiver to a child with a Baha 5 System? Here are some tips on how to handle the battery door in your child’s sound processor!

All Baha 5 sound processors are equipped with tamper-proof features to prevent accidents from happening. Batteries, for instance can be very harmful if swallowed. You can rest assured that Cochlear has taken great measures to prevent your child from being able to open the Baha sound processor and taking out the battery.

It’s very important however that you check the sound processor on a daily basis to make sure that everything is working correctly.

baha-5-battery-door-children

The Baha 5 Sound Processor has an optional tamper-proof battery door specifically designed for children.

To unlock the sound processor, carefully insert the tip of a pen in the small hole on the tamper-proof battery door and gently open the battery compartment. To lock the device, simply close the battery compartment until it is completely closed.

You must feel two clicks when you close it – if not, you should replace the door immediately. If the little “pin” (circled in red) is broken, the tamper-proof door won’t function as designed, and there is a risk your battery-door-pinchild could open the door. Contact your local Cochlear representative to order extra tamper-proof battery doors.

Tip: Make it a habit that every time you change the sound processor battery or start the device, to make sure the door is firmly locked by lightly trying to open it – to test that the tamper-proof is functioning.

See also: How to change the battery in the Baha 5 Sound Processor

baha-5-power-children-lock

The Baha 5 Power and the Baha 5 SuperPower sound processors have a built-in locking mechanism in their battery doors. You lock and unlock it using the tamper-proof tool provided in the sound processor box.

To lock the battery door, as shown in this instructional video, place the locking tool into the battery door slot. Slide the locking pin up into place. To unlock, slide the locking pin down into place and gently open the battery compartment.

Should the battery door break, you can change it yourself, like this.

See also: How to change and charge the battery in Baha 5 SuperPower

What to do?

If your child still somehow should manage to swallow a battery, contact your hospital emergency department immediately. Don’t try to make him or her throw up, and avoid food and drink.

Not sure? Warning signs that a child has swallowed a battery include: excess dribbling, trouble swallowing, vomiting, coughing, choking, and unexplained chest infection.

baha-support-app

Psst: Download the Baha Support App to keep all instructional videos and tips in your smartphone!

 

 

 

Wearing a hat with a Baha sound processor

Question: Hi, I wonder if it’s possible to wear a hat with your Baha sound processor? I have the Baha 5 and while it’s really small it still gets “in the way” when putting on a cap or hat.

Any ideas? Thanks // Jade

Answer: Hi Jade, thanks for your question.

Of course you can wear a hat! You just have to be a little bit creative. Your Baha sound processor is a delicate electronic device and touching fabric may cause feedback. So cutting a small hole around the place of the sound processor is usually the best and most simple way.

Here’s an idea by a reader from our Facebook page who customizes her husband’s baseball caps:

baha-hat-baseball-cap

Anyone else who has tips for Jade? We’d love to hear your ideas!

//The Baha Blog team

Back to school with the new Cochlear Wireless Mini Microphone 2+

It’s back to school time and a perfect opportunity to learn about the new technology available to enhance your or your child’s learning experience!

Mini-Microphone-FM-Baha

The new Mini Microphone 2+ is ideal for the classroom, designed to increase a child’s ability to hear over distances and in noise. Place it on the student’s desk or the teacher’s collar to help close the gap between your child and speaker. Whether your child is sitting at their desk or working in groups, the Mini Mic 2+ automatically adapts to the situation at hand.

Baha-Mini-Microphone-FM-systemCochlear-Mini-Microphone-FM-compatible

Benefits in the classroom include:

  • Peace of mind: You and the teacher know that every child will hear every learning moment
  • Hear over a greater distance: The Mini Mic 2+ offers an improved range of listening of up to 25 meters at clear line of sight. This means as the teacher moves about the classroom there is no need to worry that the signal will be intermittent or dropped.
  • Access to better speech understanding: With the new directional microphone technology, children will have direct and clearer access to what they need to hear no matter the situation: whether the teacher is presenting or whether working in a group project with peers
  • Compatibility: The Mini Mic 2+ is compatible with other assistive technologies such as FM systems or looped classrooms where a T-Coil is needed
  • Portability: As a child moves from the home, to the classroom, to recess, to soccer practice after school, the portable Mini Mic 2+ can easily be transferred to any environment
  • All day use: The Mini Mic 2+ is designed to provide a child with a full-day of streaming (up to 11 hours)

Baha-children-FM-system-microphone

Baha user Manny’s mother tells the Cochlear Americas blog:

“Manny loves school–thankfully! He uses the Mini Microphone to hear the teacher directly in the classroom. Prior to the Mini Mic we had always used a FM system. When we were upgrading processors, we tested out a variety of options and realized the clarity of the Baha 5 Sound Processors combined with the Mini Mic far superseded the sound quality that his old processors combined with the FM system produced. Now that he is getting older, the lessened ‘equipment fuss’ at school is greatly appreciated as well.”

 

Read also: Cochlear’s handy Back to school guide for children with hearing loss!

iPhone tips: How to turn on subtitles and closed captions in videos

en_baha_5_connectivity_icon_90pxDid you know that you can turn on closed captions and subtitles on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch?iphone6-ios9-settings-general-accessibility-subtitles-captioning-on

Just follow these steps:

  1. While watching the video, tap the screen to reveal the playback controls.
  2. Tap the speech bubble icon speech bubble icon to open the Audio & Subtitles menu.
  3. Choose the subtitles option that you want to use.

If you want videos to use captions or subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing by default:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility.
  2. Scroll to the Media section and tap Subtitles & Captioning.
  3. Turn on Closed Captions + SDH.

You can also customize how you want the subtitles to look:

how-to-get-subtitles-iphone-video

 

For more helpful tips in customizing your Apple device, go to the Apple Accessibility page!