Does Your Baby Have a Risk Factor for Being Identified as Deaf or Hard of Hearing?

en Español

It is important to determine if your child is deaf or hard of hearing as soon as possible because babies start learning how to communicate as soon as they are born. Some babies hear well enough to pass the hearing screen at birth, but lose their hearing later. These babies often have risk factors, which means they have special characteristics or have had certain procedures or medications. Babies who pass their newborn hearing screen, BUT are at risk for losing their hearing to one or more of these risk factors, should get a diagnostic hearing evaluation before 3 to 9 months of age. If your baby has any of the risk factors listed below, talk to your baby's doctor.

Risk Factors Include:

  • Parent or caregiver concern about hearing for any reason
  • Spending more than five days in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Needing a blood transfusion to treat severe jaundice
  • Exposure to an infection before birth
  • Head, face or ears shaped or formed in a different way than usual including cleft palate, ear pits and ear tags (skin tags)
  • A condition or syndrome that is associated with hearing loss (Check with your baby's doctor)
  • A head injury that is severe enough to require a hospital stay
  • Taking medications that could hurt your baby's hearing such as those given for cancer or severe infections (Ask your baby's doctor about any medications given)
  • Meningitis-an infection around the brain and spinal cord
  • Family history of hearing loss in childhood that was not caused by an illness, injury, or aging
  • Parent or caregiver concern about hearing for any reason

EHDDI at or call 1-888-WAEHDDI (1-888-923-4334).