Empowering early childhood development: MED-EL's focus on World Children’s Day

Nov 20, 2023

November 20, 2023 – (Innsbruck, Austria): World Children’s Day celebrates the rights of children around the globe and marks the anniversary of the UN’s adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Today, MED-EL, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, reminds you that investing in childhood skills and development from a young age not only improve a child’s welfare but can also mean a better future for all of us. Most skills critical for learning and development are affected by the ability to hear. If a child is showing signs of hearing loss, early intervention is the best way to set them up for success.

Hearing loss can occur across generations, however for children who are still in their developmental phase, hearing plays a key role. This makes it all the more important to recognize the first signs of potential hearing loss early and react quickly. Here are some common indicators that might suggest that a child’s hearing might not be within the expected hearing range:

Recognizing the signs

Does your child…

1. …not react to loud sounds?
2. …have trouble telling where a sound is coming from?
3. …start to babble, but the babbling doesn’t develop into understandable speech?
4. …not react to voices, especially when he or she is not being held?
5. …not follow commands, or misunderstand?
6. …act frustrated for unknown reasons?

If you replied with a "yes" to any of these questions, the first step is to consult a pediatrician or family doctor.

How early intervention aids development

"When we can hear in our formative years as a child, we begin to develop the foundations that we need for life, education and work.” explains Dr Patrick D’Haese, Director of Awareness & Public Affairs at MED-EL. “Hearing is key for the language and communications skills that we take into the future. Language isn't just about talking; it's also about comprehending, expressing ourselves, and how we communicate with others. This is why treating hearing loss is crucial in a child's early years to help unlock their potential. With the right support, a child with hearing loss can overcome hearing-related obstacles and achieve their dreams." he emphasizes.

IDEASforEARS – Seeing success through hearing solutions

Granting children access to hearing care and treatment quickly can open the door to a world of limitless possibilities. This is perfectly illustrated through the inspiring stories of young deaf champions who embark on remarkable journeys toward their dreams. An example of such empowerment can be found in MED-EL's annual IDEASforEARS global invention contest for children.

Meet Bulat from Germany who uses cochlear implants to hear. At 11 years old, he is one of MED-EL’s IDEASforEARS winners. He came up with a very clever solution for a problem that many hearing implant users know about: non-fittings sports helmets. He created a special sports helmet that provides reliable impact protection while accommodating the hearing device comfortably. Bulat’s dream? Becoming a scientist! He might one day join other engineers and scientists at MED-EL who also use cochlear implants. Bulat's winning invention illustrates just one of numerous examples of the incredible accomplishments achievable when children with hearing loss receive the necessary support, access to hearing implants, and encouragement.

Supporting your child

MED-EL offers a free, online hearing test specifically made for children. To learn more, visit the MED-EL website. To fully support you and your child on their hearing journey, MED-EL provides a place for parents to connect, share experiences, and learn more about hearing loss and solutions. Get in touch with a Hearpeers mentor today.

About MED-EL

MED EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication and quality of life. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has more than 2,600 employees from around 80 nations and 30 locations worldwide.

The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in over 140 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a MED-EL device. MED-EL’s hearing solutions include cochlear and middle ear implant systems, a combined electric acoustic stimulation hearing implant system, auditory brainstem implants as well as surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices. www.medel.com 



Doz. DI Dr DDr med. h.c. Ingeborg Hochmair


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