Parents with hearing-impaired children in Katy face challenges when it comes to traveling. With summer in full swing and many families planning getaways, we’d like to share some tips to make the travel experience easier.
Making Air Travel Easier
Hearing loss affects an estimated 48 million Americans. Contrary to popular belief, people of all ages can suffer from a hearing impairment, including children. One-third of kids with hearing loss in Katy are younger than three.
Raising a child with hearing loss is difficult enough on a daily basis. Special occasions like family getaways are even more difficult. There is much more to worry about than making sure your child has enough underwear packed to last the entire trip. The key to a successful, trouble-free vacation is preparation.
Dr. Ivette Cejas is an assistant professor with the University of Miami Health System’s Department of Otolaryngology. She works closely with families of children with hearing loss and understands keenly the difficulties they face. “Oftentimes, our families of kids with hearing loss really struggle in knowing how to prepare in order to travel,” she says. “Be ready, be prepared, kind of have a little checklist of what things they need to be traveling with.”
Topping your checklist? A visit with your child’s audiologist in Katy. You’ll want to make sure there are no medical issues or concerns that would make travel unsafe. Get their approval before booking those non-refundable tickets, just in case!
Assuming your audiologist has green-lit your travel plans, start thinking about what to pack inside your child’s suitcase. The essentials – hearing aids, extra batteries and cleaning kids – are a given. Plan on bringing plenty of hearing aid batteries along – more than you think is necessary. You are liable to be participating in more activities than usual or may be traveling to a location where the climate can affect battery performance more than it does at home. It’s better to have too many batteries than to run out midway through your trip. If your child’s hearing aids run on rechargeable batteries, don’t forget the charger.
If your destination is a humid climate, such as Hawaii or Florida, a dehumidifier is a good item to have. It will help remove moisture from hearing aids when not in use, preventing them from malfunctioning.
Be sure to pack hearing aids, batteries and other supplies in a carry-on bag. Checked luggage has a habit of getting lost or misrouted.
At the airport, you’ll pass through TSA security checkpoints before boarding the plane. Don’t worry about removing hearing aids or cochlear implants before passing through the metal detector; this will not cause them damage. However, x-ray equipment can be harmful, so avoid placing them on the conveyor belt. Instead, let security personnel know that your child is wearing hearing aids and they will be happy to manually search your bags.
Letting the airline know in advance that you’re traveling with a hearing-impaired child is a good idea. They often provide special services to families of children with hearing disabilities, such as early boarding and choice seating. In the unlikely event that you are separated from your child at some point, airline staff will be aware of their hearing loss and take measures to keep them safe.
There is still work to be done once your plane lands. Notify hotel staff about your child’s hearing loss in case they offer special accommodations. You might get a room on the ground floor, the safest spot in the event of an emergency.
These tips will help ensure your family vacation is an enjoyable one full of memories! For more information about traveling with a hearing-impaired child, talk to your audiologist in Katy before setting out.
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- Coping Strategies for Hearing Loss & Tinnitus
Our Katy Audiologist Office Location
21715 Kingsland Blvd
Katy, TX 77450