Before a child can communicate using speech and spoken words, they need to hear the sounds and words we use. If a child has an undetected hearing loss, they may miss certain sounds and words in speech, causing a spoken language delay.
The Infant Hearing Program provides free Universal Newborn Hearing Screening for all babies born in Ontario.
The only way to know if your child has a hearing loss is by having their hearing tested – and that’s what Universal Newborn Hearing Screening is all about.
Newborn hearing screening uses safe technology to measure how your baby’s ears and brain respond to sounds. The test does not hurt and it is usually done while your baby is sleeping or feeding.
This newborn baby stayed fast asleep during their hearing test:
When the hearing screen is done, you will get the results right away. If they need more testing, your baby may be booked for another hearing screen or for a full assessment with an audiologist.
My baby’s hearing wasn’t screened at birth – what do I do?
If you live in Toronto and your baby did not have their hearing screened at birth, contact Surrey Place to find out if they are eligible for a free hearing screen through the Toronto Infant Hearing Program.
Almost 40,000 babies have their hearing screened in Toronto, every year!
If your child is not eligible for a hearing screen through the Toronto Infant Hearing Program, ask your doctor for a referral to have your child’s hearing tested by an audiologist. Some hearing tests are covered by OHIP, with a doctor’s referral.
How can I monitor my child’s hearing development?
Even if your child passed their hearing screen at birth, it is important to monitor their hearing development as they grow. Some types of hearing loss can develop later in childhood.
If you have any concerns about your child’s ability to hear – ask your doctor for a referral to have your child’s hearing tested by an audiologist.
For more information:
- Learn more about hearing development and strategies to protect your child’s ear and hearing health
- Contact Surrey Place to register for a newborn hearing screen, or early intervention services through the Toronto Infant Hearing Program
- Connect with a public health nurse via eChat or call 416-338-7600