When Sarah Ivermee's son, Freddie, was 2 months old, a virus he had contracted at birth left him profoundly deaf in one ear and severely deaf in the other. He was fitted with a hearing aid and later a cochlear implant, and he hasn't taken them off since. But not all kids react so well to the devices designed to help them hear.
Many kids hate wearing them because they think the devices look "weird" or "ugly." And when a friend of Ivermee's confessed that her own daughter refused to wear her hearing aid because she found it embarrassing, the U.K. mom decided to do something about it.
She invented hearing aid decorations that would make kids proud to wear their hearing devices.
Instead of wearing a boring, medical device, kids can use these kits to transform their cochlear implants into Batman or adorn their hearing aids with Angry Birds. Through her company, Lugs, Ivermee sells hearing aid decorations based on the characters like Ironman or Elsa that kids can use to make their hearing devices a point of pride, rather than a source of embarrassment.
“Knowing children are not just happy to wear their hearing aids and cochlears but that they are proud to show them off makes it all worth while,” Ivermee said in an interview with The Mighty. “We just hope we can help as many children and adults as we can have fun and creative devices that they are proud of.”
According to the Center for Communication and Hearing, about 3 million children in the U.S. have hearing loss and roughly 50,000 kids have been fitted with cochlear implants since 2000, when the devices were FDA-approved for use in eligible children.
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