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Getting hearing aids

Last reviewed: 25 June 2024

Your child's audiologist will be able to tell you if hearing aids are suitable for your child. The type of hearing aid they recommend will depend on your child's type and level of deafness.

Your child may be fitted with two hearing aids (known as a binaural fitting) or one hearing aid.

NHS hearing aids

All deaf children who live in the UK are entitled to free hearing aids through their local audiology service. The NHS supplies a range of good quality digital hearing aids that are suitable for children with different types and levels of deafness.

If there are no suitable NHS aids available, your child's audiologists can choose an aid from the commercial range at no cost to yourself.

NHS hearing aid providers

Buying hearing aids privately

You may choose to buy your child’s hearing aids privately. If you buy privately, still try to keep in touch with your child’s NHS audiologist where possible. Doing so means that your child can use NHS audiology services as and when they need them.

If you decide to buy your child’s hearing aids, you may want to think about the following:

  • Buying hearing aids privately is very expensive.
  • Most private hearing aid dispensers don’t work with children, so you’ll need to be sure that they’ve been trained to fit hearing aids to children.
  • All hearing aid dispensers should be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

You may also need to consider whether any support services that you use, such as a Teacher of the Deaf, have experience of supporting children with different types of hearing aids.


The HCPC regulates health professionals in the UK to protect the public and make sure that the professional is working to current standards. You can check if your hearing aid dispenser is registered by going to the HCPC website's Check the Register tool.

Money-back guarantees

Some hearing aid dispensers have a money-back guarantee, which allows you to return the hearing aids within a set time if they aren’t suitable. Remember, it may take your child a while to get used to the sound levels of a new aid, so the guarantee period should be at least six weeks.

Follow-up services

Ask whether a follow-up service is included in the price or if you have to pay separately. Hearing aids may need to be fine-tuned after several weeks. Growing children also need new earmoulds at regular intervals, and batteries will need to be replaced regularly.


You’ll need to know whether the aids have a warranty, how long this lasts for, what repairs are covered and how quickly you can get replacement hearing aids from the hearing aid dispenser.

Working with other technologies

Consider asking for the T programme facility if your child uses a loop system and/or the direct audio input facility if your child uses a radio aid.


You may want to insure the hearing aids. You can sometimes do this under your household contents insurance. One digital aid can cost thousands of pounds, so you’ll need to check that your household insurance will cover this for a single item. You’ll also need to know how quickly your insurance company could process an insurance claim if your child loses or damages their hearing aids.

Buying abroad

Some people consider buying hearing aids abroad. If you decide to do this, you’ll need to know whether a follow-up service is provided in the UK and what would happen if the hearing aid broke. Bear in mind that the hearing aids might need to be fine-tuned after they’re fitted, so you may have to return for another visit.

You should be careful of hearing aid adverts and promotional literature, as these may make claims about features or performance that aren’t relevant for your child.

Checklist for buying hearing aids privately

Buying hearing aids privately is a big decision. To help, we've provided you with a checklist of common questions to ask and things to take care of.

  • The hearing aid dispenser is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC website).
  • The hearing aids can be used with a loop system and have a direct audio input facility (if needed).
  • The hearing aid dispenser has given me written details of prices, the trial period and the warranty period.
  • The hearing aid dispenser has given me written details of the follow-up service, including the cost of new earmoulds and batteries. They've also told me who to contact if the hearing aids need repairing or servicing.
  • I've checked that my child's support services (such as their Teacher of the Deaf) will be able to support them while they're using these hearing aids.
  • I've insured the aids against accidental damage and loss.
  • I've checked how quickly the aids can be replaced if they’re lost.

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Ali Gets Hearing Aids

For a fun and child-friendly way to explain hearing aids to your child, check out our free comic, Ali Gets Hearing Aids.