Melissa Magstadt, South Dakota Secretary of Health

1 - Before ONE Month of Age: Hearing Screening

Newborn Hearing Screenings

Adult hand cupped under newborn's headPlan Ahead - During prenatal visits, discuss the hearing screening done at birth. It is important to know that a hearing screening will be done before the baby leaves the hospital. In South Dakota, all of the hospitals that deliver babies on a regular basis have hearing screening equipment.

At Birth - Hearing can be screened soon after birth and before leaving the hospital. The screening does not hurt, it takes only minutes to screen each ear and results are immediate. Most babies sleep through the screening. The screening does not confirm a definite hearing loss - rather it determines how the baby is hearing at that time and identifies if further diagnostic evaluations are needed.

Follow-Up - If the baby does not pass the first hearing screening, it is important that the family follow-up with a second screening, called a re-screening. The re-screening should be done before the baby is one month of age. This will ensure that there is not a delay in any further evaluations that may be needed.

Keep Checking - Some babies have a hearing loss that is not present at birth. These babies develop a hearing loss as they grow. This change in hearing may result from risk factors such as a head trauma, certain illnesses, medications or genetic causes.

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