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When hearing aids can and cannot be worn

Last reviewed: 25 June 2024

The following are some situations where you may need to be careful with your child’s hearing aids.

Swimming and bathing

Hearings aids should be removed before swimming or bathing.

Hearing aids are given an IP rating, which determines how resistant they are to dust and water. Most hearing aids are given an IP rating or IP67 or IP68 and are described as 'water resistant'. This means that hearing aids may survive the occasional splash of water, but they should never be fully immersed in water. They should also never be exposed to salty, soapy or chlorinated water (such as from a swimming pool).

If your child’s hearing aid does accidently get wet, there are some simple tips you should follow:

  1. Quickly remove the hearing aid from the water and dry with a soft cloth.
  2. Remove the battery and check for any water that may have got in the battery compartment.
  3. Place the hearing aid in a drying kit to draw out any moisture. If you don’t have a drying kit, then leave in a warm dry place like an airing cupboard (do not place directly on a heat source).
  4. If the hearing aid stops working, contact your audiology department.

There are special sleeves called Ear Gear (Connevans) that can be placed over hearing aids. These offer an extra layer of protection from dirt, dust, sweat and moisture. They're particularly useful when playing on the beach or for sporting activities.

Playing sports

Your child can wear their hearing aids for most sporting activities. You’ll need to think about the type of sporting activity and the safety aspects of wearing or not wearing their hearing aids. For example, could your child's ear or hearing aid get damaged from a blow to the head? If your child does not wear their hearing aids, what are the implications if they cannot hear their instructor or teammates.

Make sure hearing aids are kept securely in place, for example, by using hearing aid retainers or a sports headband. For sports where a blow to the head is quite likely (such as football or rugby), you might like to consider buying a scrum cap to protect your child’s ears and hearing aids during use.


There’s no reason why a child cannot wear hearing aids at night, but they may not be very comfortable to rest on. If your child does not like the quiet when their aids are taken out, you could try removing them soon after they fall asleep.

It might also help to have a safe place for the hearing aids, for example, a special box close to your child’s bed where they can put them away and retrieve them safely when wanted. It can be helpful for young children to make hearing aids part of their dressing and undressing routine in the morning and evening.

More tips on helping your child get to sleep.

Ear infections

If your child has an ear infection, you should remove their hearing aid as the ear needs to 'breathe’ to get better.

If the ear is swollen, it can be aggravated further by the earmould, making a hearing aid very uncomfortable to wear.

The current earmould will need to be replaced as soon as your child's ear is better to avoid re-infection. Talk to your GP, ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor, or audiologist for more specific information and advice.

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.