What is Newborn Screening?
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Simple tests can be used to check a baby's hearing right after birth. We don't have to wait until children are older to check for hearing loss. Newborn hearing tests are important because a lot of help is available even when a hearing loss is found early in a baby's life.
Hearing screening programs are called "universal" because they are set up to test all babies. All babies can and should have their hearing tested before they leave the hospital, or within 3 weeks of leaving the hospital. If a baby is born at home, a hearing test should be completed before he or she is 2 months old.
When a baby fails the screening tests, he or she is referred for more detailed, diagnostic hearing testing. If a hearing loss is found, then hearing aids and therapy services are started to help the baby learn to listen and speak.
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