Newborn Hearing Screening
By the time children say their first word they have been listening to the language that surrounds them for about a year.
The ACT Newborn Hearing Screening Program, which has been fully funded by ACT Health, aims to identify babies born with significant hearing loss and introduce them to appropriate services as soon as possible. About 3 babies out of every 1000 babies born will have a significant hearing loss.
Your baby will be offered a hearing screening as soon as possible after birth.
What is involved in screening my baby?
The ACT Hearing Screening Program employs 6 screeners. One of the trained screeners will carry out the screen when your baby is asleep or resting quietly. The screener will place small sensors on your baby's head and play soft clicking sounds into the baby's ears through an earmuff.
The sensors electronically record your baby's responses to sounds. You are welcome to stay with your baby while the screen is being done. The screen usually does not unsettle the baby and may take 10-20 minutes to complete.
You will be given results as soon as the screen is complete. The results will be recorded in your baby's Personal Health Record (Blue Book). If the results indicate that a repeat screen is required, it does not necessarily mean that your baby has a hearing loss.
There may be other reasons for this result. The most common reasons for a repeat screen are:
- Your baby was unsettled at the time of the screening.
- There was fluid or debris present in the ear after the birth.
A repeat screen will be carried out on your baby at a later date.
If you are concerned about your child's hearing or speech and language development in the future, please arrange to have your child's hearing tested. Your general practitioner or paediatrician can arrange for a referral to an appropriate location for testing your child hearing.
For further information contact the Newborn Hearing Screening Program on (02) 6244 3194.