For professionals For audiologists Support for children with tinnitus Tinnitus in children is surprisingly common - a 2012 study showed that 37% of children aged 6-12 years with normal hearing experience tinnitus, increasing to 59% in those with hearing loss.¹ Whilst many children with tinnitus cope with the condition very well, some find it difficult to deal with. Not surprisingly, for some children, hearing strange noises in their head that no-one else can hear is scary and confusing. Some children with tinnitus are unable to sleep and find it difficult to cope. Many children can become isolated, feeling that they are the only one with tinnitus. Children struggling with their tinnitus have been at a disadvantage because of the lack of information targeted at them, to help them understand and cope with the condition. We were determined to fill this gap in provision, and asked for parents of children with tinnitus to get in touch with us and discussions with them, members of the BSA’s Paediatric Audiology Interest Group and other medical professionals confirmed the need for information aimed at children and young people. Our Fundraising team applied to the Big Lottery Fund and we were able to secure a grant of £5,000 for the project. The next stage was to find a suitable author and designer to bring our ideas to fruition. Writing for children is a specialist skill, and we looked at a number of people’s work before selecting Sandra Lawrence, who was able to synthesise all the information we provided that we write for adults and turn it into a charming story for the under eights, as well as more factual pieces for the 8-11 and 11-16 age groups. Choosing a designer was another tough task, but Kate Smith’s bright and cheerful illustrations stood out and really bring Sandra’s text to life. Before printing, we subjected the leaflet to the toughest test of all by giving them to young people and other members of our Readers Panel to comment on. We certainly got honest feedback, but it was positive, and with a few amends, we went to print and were able to launch the leaflets at our Annual Conference. Copies of the leaflets are available free of charge, so if you know or work with young people with tinnitus who you think would benefit from information written especially for them, please get in touch on 0114 250 9933 or [email protected] You can also view the leaflets in an animated form so that the pages turn - click on the links below: ¹ Raj-Koziak D, Skarzynski H, Kochanek K, Bartnik G, Fabijanska A. The Prevalance of Tinnitus in Children in Poland, Poster Presentation, Sixth International Tinnitus Conference, Bruges 2012.