The first few weeks after birth.
Your baby will be offered a range of health checks in the first few weeks after birth. One of these tests or screenings will be for hearing. A trained hearing screener will do the test when your baby is asleep or resting. The test does not hurt the baby.
A newborn hearing screen or test takes between 15 and 30 minutes. The screener will place small sensor pads on the baby’s head. Earphones will be placed on baby’s ears and a series of gentle clicks will be played through the earphones. A machine will pick up babies’ automatic response to the sounds.
When will I be advised of the results?
As soon as the test is complete, your baby’s results will be explained and will be recorded in your baby’s personal health record (Blue book). PASS means your baby can hear whisper quiet noises in both ears.
If you ever have concerns about your baby’s hearing chat to your local doctor or Child and Family Health Nurse. The Area coordinator can be contacted on 02 6620 2563 or 0429 453 384.
The screen is repeated in a few days or a weeks’ time. If a second refer result is given, the baby is referred to a children’s hospital for Diagnostic Audiology assessment and, if a hearing loss is detected, parents are advised on appropriate intervention such as hearing aids, cochlear implant or signing.
I've been advised a "refer" result is recorded - what does this mean?
If a ‘refer’ result is recorded, a second test will be needed. This does not necessarily mean that your baby has hearing loss. Often this result happens because the baby may still have fluid in their ears following birth or may have been unsettled.
The screen is repeated in a few days or a weeks’ time. If a second Refer result is given the baby is referred to a children’s hospital for Diagnostic Audiology assessment and parents are advised on appropriate intervention such as hearing aids, cochlear implant or signing.