Can I just vent for a minute?
Going to the park with a toddler is a challenge to begin with. Put a hearing loss on top of it, and it's a whole different ballgame. Our audiology team at Hopkins and at our school have made it very clear that to protect against ESD (Static Electricity), Christian's implant MUST come off if he goes down a plastic slide.
According to our team, the static electricity generated by playing on plastic surfaces like slides has been shown to erase and/or distort programs on CIs. Sometimes, the processor itself is damaged, and needs to be replaced. Since Christian really isn't old enough to let me know if the sound he hears is bothering him or doesn't sound right, diagnosing if ESD impacted his CI is really hard.
Taking off the CI just for the slides really is a pain. Anyone with a 20 month old will tell you that they bounce from one activity to another in a matter of seconds. It's not like we have 5 minutes of time on the slide, then 10 minutes on the swing. I've had to take his CI off usually right when we get to the park, and it's off in my pocket for a good 20 minutes. Not having your kid hear you at a public place like a busy park is horrible, especially when as a parent you are so used to your child responding to your voice. I'm glad we have our signs as a back-up, but it just makes the situation tricky.
Oh, and we also found out that he should avoid going on roller coasters that use magnets (most of the new ones do). If the ride has a precaution for people with pacemakers, than we should avoid it too.
I don't mean to complain, and I know that I could be up against far worse situations.I do feel so lucky that we even have the CI for Christian. I know as he gets older, it will get easier. But for right now, when he is like a little Tazmanian Devil speeding around our neighborhood park, this situation really for lack of a better word, SUCKS.