Newborn Hearing Screen

​A hearing screen is one of the routine health checks babies have soon after birth and while still at the hospital. It is quick, free and the results are available straight away. Early identification of babies with hearing loss is very important for their development. The Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP) aims to find out as early as possible whether a baby has any hearing loss.

The hearing screening will give your child either a pass or a refer result.

A VIHSP hearing screen can be done up to 6 month​s after your baby is born but younger is better.

Pass result

Your baby showed a clear response to sound in both ears on their VIHSP hearing screen.

Some babies who receive this result may still be at risk of hearing loss. A follow up with an audiologist is recommended at 8-12 months of age if your baby has been effected by any of the following risk factors:

  • a close relative (child’s parent or sibling) with a congenital hearing impairment 
  • any concern you have about your child’s hearing 
  • a significant head injury 
  • neurodegenerative disorder 
  • a syndrome known to be related to hearing loss such as Down syndrome 
  • congenital abnormality of the head and neck 
  • meningitis/encephalitis 
  • congenital infections during pregnancy eg Toxoplasmo​sis, Rubella, CMV 
  • has been on a ventilator for more than five days in a row
  • aminoglycoside antibiotics (e.g. gentamicin) administered for three days or more 
  • jaundice that has required exchange transfusion.

Refer result

If your baby was given a refer result at the VIHSP hearing screen it means that your baby did not show a clear response to sound. VIHSP will get in contact with you to arrange an audiology assessment for your baby.

Your maternal and child health nurse will check that you have an appointment made and if not, can help to arrange one.

More information

For more information about the VIHSP hearing screen, see: Victorian Infa​nt Hearing Screening Program