What does it mean if my baby passes the newborn hearing screening?

If your baby passes the newborn hearing screening, you do not need more testing at this time. Just remember your baby's hearing does not have to be perfect to pass.

A small number of babies who pass the newborn hearing screening can lose their hearing—suddenly or gradually—before one year of age or older. If you have a family history of permanent childhood hearing loss, your baby should be tested every year.

Some babies may develop hearing loss later as a child. Regular ear infections, meningitis, head injury or other medical conditions are some of the causes of hearing loss in children. Children with a history of these conditions should receive hearing tests.

In addition, if you, a member of your family, caregiver or a professional have a concern about your child's ability to communicate, talk to your child's doctor about having your child's hearing tested as soon as possible. Review the language and speech milestones chart to help determine if you should be concerned about your child's hearing.  Language and Speech Milestones Chart 

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The Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program of the PA Department of Health (PA DOH) helps families by ensuring that newborns receive a hearing screening no later than 1 month of age and providing education and support. PA DOH also works to ensure that babies who do not pass their hearing screen receive a diagnostic evaluation by an audiologist no later than 3 months of age and that babies who are diagnosed with a hearing loss are enrolled in Early Intervention no later than 6 months of age.

Find out more about the Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program

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