The hearing screen is non-invasive and carried out by a nurse trained in hearing screening. Ideally, hearing screening takes place before the baby leaves the hospital. The parent's consent is given before the screen.
During the screen the nurse places several small sensor pads on the baby's head. These sensors record the baby's response to sound as soft clicking sounds are played into the baby's ear through soft earphones. The screening equipment automatically records whether the baby has passed the screen ('pass result') or requires a second screen ('refer result').
If a baby receives a 'refer result' again on the second screen, the baby is referred to an Audiologist for further hearing tests. At this stage parents are given the explanatory Your baby's audiology hearing test brochure (PDF, 240KB).
While a baby may have passed a hearing screen their hearing can change over time. Refer to the checklist for your baby's hearing and speech (PDF, 154KB).
What if a baby leaves hospital before having their hearing screened? Or is not born in a birthing hospital?
A free hearing screen can be arranged for babies up until the age of 3 months as an hospital outpatient.
To arrange a screen contact your closest screening site (PDF, 49KB).