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Hearing and hearing loss - babies and children

hear; hearing; loss; impairment;

ALERT: Consult your doctor if there has been a sudden change in your child’s hearing. Some conditions require prompt treatment to prevent permanent damage

Hearing well is important to your child's development. If there are any difficulties hearing, finding them early is important.  If children born with a hearing loss receive help by 6 months of age, they have a good chance of developing speech and language.

Your baby's new-born hearing screening

In the first few weeks of life your baby will have several routine health checks. One of these checks is a free newborn hearing screen.

Why screen my baby’s hearing?

A small number of babies are born with a hearing impairment (the baby is unable to hear sounds normally). A simple hearing screen can help to identify this soon after birth.

Early identification of a hearing impairment is vital, especially for a child’s speech and language development. Also parents can be given support and information sooner.

For information about this screening test in South Australia have a look at this pamphlet about the newborn hearing screening service.

More to read about hearing and hearing loss

Raising Children Network

Australian Hearing (AH)

Better Health Channel

Where can a child's hearing be tested?

Testing a child’s hearing is best done by an audiologist who specialises in paediatric testing. It is best if parents discuss any concerns about their child’s hearing with their family doctor and obtain a referral if a hearing test is required.

South Australia

There are several public services that specialise in testing children’s hearing in South Australia including:

  • Children’s Audiology Service
    (including the Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening program and Hearing Assessment Service)
    295 South Terrace
    Adelaide SA 5000
    Tel. (08) 8303 1530
    (Testing is also available at various other metropolitan and country sites – visit the Hearing Assessment Service page  for more information).
  • Audiology Department
    Flinders Medical Centre
    Flinders Drive
    Bedford Park   SA 5042
    Tel. (08) 8204 4366 / 8204 5933
    Web: Audiology Clinic at Flinders Medical Centre

There are also a number of privately run hearing services for children. Ask your G.P about ones which may be available in your local area.

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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