Are you planning to travel this holiday season? We know that getting your family ready for a trip, particularly a child with hearing loss, can be time consuming and challenging given everything that needs to be accomplished prior to your departure. This is why we have created a travel list for children with hearing loss so you won’t forget important essentials that will be needed while your child is away from home. Use the list below to help your child prepare and plan for your trip.
Travel To Do’s and Essentials to Pack:
- Calendar Countdown
Prepare your child for a change in their routine by creating a calendar to count down the days before they leave for their adventure. Post this calendar on the refrigerator or wall where you can easily access and discuss it each night with your child. Talk about all of the items they need to pack, what is going to happen during the trip, who they will see, how they will get there and why you are all going on this trip together. Why is this important? All children tend to be creatures of habit. Children with hearing loss are often accustomed to a routine, and a change in that routine can be difficult for them. Helping your child adjust prior to your trip will make it much more fun and memorable for all!
- Important Contact Information
Don’t forget to take with you all of the important phone numbers, email addresses and website information for your audiologist, therapist and other hearing specialists. Tip: Use an index card to write down this important information or store the information on your smartphone and/or tablet. If your child is old enough, show them where you keep this information just in case you are not around and they need to access it.
- Extra Equipment and Your Child’s Hearing Accessories
Don’t forget to pack extra batteries, cables and other spare equipment if your child uses hearing technology. When it comes to your child’s hearing, it is always best to over pack and have extra working equipment on hand.
- Transportation Listening Games
Whether you are traveling by airplane, train or car, it is great to have a few “listening” games for your child to play while they are enroute to their destination. For example, in the car you can pack your child’s favorite music CD and sing along, or play the “alphabet game” while driving. If you are flying, consider bringing a tablet for your child to play with, a book to read aloud or a workbook of activities. For more listening resources, visit the Communication Corner.
- Transportation Security at Airports and Train Stations
Navigating the security checkpoints at busy airports and train stations can be intimidating. To start, inform security personnel that your child has a hearing loss and wears a hearing device. It is not necessary to remove your child’s external hearing devices at security check points. In fact, it is best to let your child wear their hearing device while going through security. According to otolaryngologist and otolaryngology surgeons, hearing devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, external component of cochlear implants, and middle ear implants are not affected by X-ray inspection, the walk-through metal detector, or the hand-held metal detector. If you are concerned or uncomfortable with your child going through the walk-through metal detector, or are uneasy with having your child’s external hearing device x-rayed, you can ask for a full body pat-down and a visual and physical inspection of the exterior component while it remains on your child’s body.
As your child gets older, try letting them manage this list themselves to teach them how to be independent and take responsibility for their hearing.
Share your child’s hearing adventures and a picture of your trip with us at email@example.com! Safe travels and happy holidays!