Learn about hearing screenings for infants and children

About 3-4 babies out of every 1,000 babies will have some form of hearing loss at birth. View this information from the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program. Brochure downloads available in English and other languages.

Table of Contents

What is a screening?

All babies are tested for signs of some possible health concerns. These tests are called screenings.

What is newborn hearing screening?

Your baby will have a test at the hospital to check for concerns with his or her hearing.

How is the hearing screening done?

A special machine shows if your baby responds to sounds. The test is simple and does not hurt. You will get the results before you leave the hospital.

Why is it important to have your baby’s hearing screened?

If your baby has a hearing loss it is important to find out early and get care to help with learning and language.

What does it mean if your baby does not pass the hearing screening?

If your baby does not pass the hearing screening, it means that your baby needs further hearing testing. These tests will give you more information about your baby’s hearing.

Follow-up testing is very important. If your baby has a hearing loss, you will want to find out early.

Where do you go for follow-up hearing testing?

The hospital will make an appointment for your baby to have follow-up hearing testing. If the hospital does not give you an appointment, you can call the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program at (800) 882-1435 to find out where you can go for the follow-up test.

What should l do if my child is diagnosed with hearing loss?

Families work with their baby’s doctor, audiologist, and other health care providers to decide what services are important for their child. Often families use an Early Intervention Program in their community, which provides services based on the needs of the child and family.

Further testing

Some babies may need further hearing testing even if they passed a hearing screening at birth. It is important to talk with your child’s doctor and make an appointment for further hearing testing if:

  • Someone in your family has been deaf or hard of hearing since they were born, or they lost their hearing in early childhood
  • The mother had an infection while pregnant, such as herpes or rubella
  • Your baby had a serious infection or illness needing treatment in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • You are worried that your baby is not learning like other children the same age
  • Your baby or young child has a lot of ear infections
  • Your baby or young child had a serious infection such as meningitis
  • Your baby or young child injured his or her head
  • Your baby or young child has a syndrome that may cause hearing loss

Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program

  • Family support
  • Outreach and education
  • Parent-to-parent support
  • Information and referral
  • Technical assistance to families, birth facilities, and hearing testing centers
  • Information to families, medical professionals, and Early Intervention
  • Connections to available resources facilities, and hearing testing centers
  • Information to families, medical professionals, and Early Intervention
  • Connections to available resources

The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program helps families get the services they need. Call today if you have any questions or want to know where to get a hearing test.

Download this brochure

This information is available as a brochure in multiple languages, in both PDF and Word document format.

Additional Resources

Order copies of this brochure

Use the following form to order copies of this brochure. It is available in several languages, and can be shipped in any quantity.

Additional Resources

Contact

Fax

(617) 994-9822

Address

250 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02108

Support for this brochure was provided in part through the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, CFDA No. 93.251 Grant No. 5 H61 MC 00002-03.

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