The Summer holiday is here, and with it comes plenty of outdoor fun in the sun and water. Children with cochlear implants can enjoy all of the activities of summer, supported with the use of water precaution and retention devices, to help keep their processors secure and protected.
We also recommend regular checks of cochlear processors and the use of the drying kit, as well as changing the microphone protectors every three months or more often, as needed. This will help to maintain the processors and ensure optimum sound quality.
Many activities and sports can be played without any special considerations, however retention devices can be useful when engaging in more active non-contact sports, like tennis or running games. Retention devices help to keep the processor and coil secure and in place, reducing the risk of them falling off, or getting lost.
For anything of a more adventurous nature or high impact, we recommend consulting your ENT or implant clinic first.
There are a range of retention devices available through the manufacturers, as well as some decorative and specialised ones available online as well. Our team is always happy to help with information and suggestions.
A reminder that retention devices are available for free to those enrolled in the Hearing Australia Cochlear Implant and Parts Program.
Swimming and water play
When swimming, or engaging in water play, people can continue to wear their processors with the use of waterproofing kits. These kits help to keep the processors dry, and the use of headbands or swim caps, including specialised CI swim caps, helps to keep them in place and secure. These water-safe accessories are key for other water-based sports also, such as rowing or canoeing.
The Cochlear and Medel websites are a good source of information about the water proofing kit recommended to your/your child’s processor. Your implant clinic is also able to assist with this.
Tips for staying active with an implant
If you plan to visit the beach, lake, or pool, don’t forget to pack waterproof accessories. Depending on the activity, you may want to invest in the watertight activity case, which can protect hearing aids, sound processors, accessories, and personal items such as a phone or car keys from water or damage.
Keeping cool and avoiding extreme temperatures: like most of us, cochlear processors don’t like extreme temperatures, and were designed to best operate within the temperature ranges of +5°C to +40°C. A gentle reminder to not leave your processor on the dashboard, in your car or any other extreme situations.