Thursday, November 21, 2013

Awareness Alert! Hearing Aids

I receive emails and private messages on a daily basis, of different peoples experiences or interactions with button batteries. I am so grateful that so many of you are taking this issue seriously and are helping our family spread the word. Over the past month I have had several reader's write to me about Hearing Aids. Hearing Aids are used for individuals mature and young in life. The issue is, how the button battery is housed and stored in the hearing aid devise. Some manufactures compartmentalize the button battery so it is difficult to remove. A pain to open for some I am sure, but when the hearing aid is used by a small child, the extra effort to remove the button battery is essential for their safety.

With her permission, I want to share an experience and concern my friend Cindy wrote to me about. Here is what she wrote:
"I have been meaning to contact you about my daughters hearing aids. I thought if you contacted the company it would maybe make a larger impact then just me a parent that's frustrated with a design flaw in this otherwise great hearing aide my daughter wears. Tabitha got these new hearing aids recently they are made by the same company as her old hearing aides. Her old hearing aids had a white tab on the inside to hold the battery in place when the battery compartment is opened. The new hearing aids do not have this and I would say that 80% of the time when we open up the battery compartment on these new hearing aids the battery often falls out on the ground and because it's a small button battery (size 13) it can be very hard to locate especially if it falls on the carpet. We have even had this same issue when we have had to open the battery compartment at church and the battery falls to the ground and bounces around on the wooden floor and it's hard to locate. I worry for any little child that might find it and put it in their mouth like they like to do at that age. 
I would love it if you could bring this issue to the attention of Phonak. I think they would be more likely to give this attention after hearing of Emmett's story and your awareness campaign. Thank YOU"

Unfortunately many manufactures are  unaware of the issue of button battery ingestion with small children.  At least I hope that is their excuse in why they are not making an effort to house these tiny batteries in a more appropriate manner.
I am hoping to be able to reach out to someone at Phonak  to shed light on this safety issue. I am just praying I will come in contact with someone who will find urgency in this matter and make a change in the design. Wish me luck!