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Why you should let your child choose their hearing aid color

Roses can be red and violets can be blue. Did you know hearing aids come in rainbow colors too?

If you’re a parent of a child with hearing loss, you know choosing the right hearing aid isn’t always black or white. Technical aspects aside, you’ve probably had the color discussion about your child’s hearing devices with your family audiologist. Should you try to blend in with hair/skin tones so people don’t see their hearing aids, or do you go bold and bright?

Seize the golden opportunity to be bold and let your child express himself or herself with colors that mean something to them. Several studies have shown that even young children can associate colors with emotions. One such study by the California State University, Fullerton, Department of Child Development found that children as young as 5 years old can already express positive feelings for bright colors like pink, red, green and purple.  In fact, they are able to express emotional responses of happiness, strength and excitement in relation to these colors.

In this study children’s emotional associations with colors were investigated. Sixty children (30 girls, 30 boys), equally divided into groups of 5-year-olds and 6 1/2-year-olds, were asked their favorite color and were then shown nine different colors, one at a time and in a random order. For each color, children were asked, “How does (the color) make you feel?” All children were able to verbally express an emotional response to each color, and 69% of children’s emotional responses were positive (e.g., happiness, excitement). Responses also demonstrated distinct color-emotion associations. Children had positive reactions to bright colors (e.g., pink, blue, red) and negative emotions for dark colors (e.g., brown, black, gray). Children’s emotional reactions to bright colors became increasingly positive with age, and girls in particular showed a preference for brighter colors and a dislike for darker colors. Boys were more likely than girls were to have positive emotional associations with dark colors. Potential sources for children’s color-emotion concepts, such as gender-related and idiosyncratic experiences, are discussed.

As a pediatric audiologist, I’ve seen the struggle between parents wanting something that doesn’t “stand out,” and kids “tickled pink” with a purple or green hearing aid that becomes a part of their identity. Nothing makes your audiologist happier than your child’s success with their hearing technology, especially when they march into an appointment with pride, wearing their green hearing aids and grinning from ear to ear with because they’re getting new yellow earmolds.  Whether they want their favorite sports teams colors or want them to match their pink bicycle, we say, “let their true colors shine!”

Phonak Sky V hearing aids offer a unique mix and match concept, with 16, kid-tested & kid-approved colors. With nearly 2,000 color combinations, children are able to choose a bright, fun color for their hearing aids, as well as their earhooks and other devices, such as their Roger receivers.13043324_721742264633953_2600119970149933800_n

Combine these with any of the creative sticker options available, such as Skinit, or other hearing aid decorations, such as washi tape, nail stickers, and tube riders to empower you child and let them proudly show off their personality. 

Looking for more ideas for decorating your child’s hearing aid? Check out Phonak’s Pinterest account

As one little boy once said to my colleagues and I, “Blue is the color of the sky, of the ocean and of passion!”  What better way to foster a passion for hearing and strong self confidence? Give the green light on a bright purple hearing aid and orange earhook, or whatever color they choose. Let them wear rainbows on their ears and know they will not only hear, but also be proud of what makes them unique.

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Stacey Rich
Pediatric Audiology ManagerPhonak HQ Switzerland
Drawing on clinical and educational experience as a pediatric audiologist, Stacey is driven to help develop and market better hearing technologies for children with hearing loss and their families.

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