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Choosing the right toy for hearing impaired children

Choosing a baby's toys may be a difficult decision for parents and relatives, particularly when the child is hearing impaired.

Choosing the right toy for hearing impaired children

The Technological Institute for Toys in Spain publishes an annual Guide for Toys and Games with counselling for parents about toys for hearing impaired children. It provides a guide to choosing the appropriate toys based on the needs of the child.

When choosing a toys for hearing impaired children you should be aware that:

  • toys with sound signals must have a volume control and an optional output for headphones to be able to adapt them to the child's hearing ability
  • sound effects must be accompanied by visual or perceived signals such as lights, images and vibrations
  • to avoid interference between the child's hearing aid and the toy it is recommended to ask the hearing aid specialist for advice
  • it should be possible to adapt a toy to your child's needs. With some modification the sound can be heard with or without headphones. Some electronic devices translate sound signals into perceptual signals or written messages.

Finally, it is always a good idea to find out how much noise the toy generates. If it is too noisy, be careful because it may be dangerous for your child's already reduced hearing ability.

Source: and Guide for Toys and Games, Polibea's Guide n.88 Dec-Jan, 2004-2005.

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