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Newborn Hearing Screening Program

Newborn hearing screening is a quick and harmless process to determine how well your baby can hear sounds needed for speech and language development. If hearing loss is detected, steps can be taken for early intervention and to help the infant learn communication.

By state law (63-1-543), all newborns have their hearing checked before they leave the hospital. While your baby is resting, tiny earpieces and equipment at the hospital tests an infant's hearing. Soft sounds are played while a computer records brainwave responses to the sounds. 

If a baby does not pass hearing screening at birth, the Newborn Hearing Program sends the results and follow-up recommendations to the infant’s doctor and parents.

Program staff assists with ensuring that infants with hearing loss receive early intervention services in a timely manner. This includes:

  • Information about where hearing can be checked
  • Recommendations for infants who pass the newborn hearing screen but have a risk factor to develop late onset hearing loss
  • Hearing equipment and oversight for many health departments to screen for the hearing of infants and toddlers

Every baby born in Oklahoma receives a newborn hearing screen. The birthing hospital or midwife performs the point of care screen and submits the result to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Infants eligible for follow-up services include any infant who is not screened, does not pass the hearing screening, or passes the hearing screening but has risk factors for late onset hearing loss. Parents with concerns for hearing between birth and three years of life may obtain additional screening as well.

"PASS" "REFER"
  • Hearing is sufficient for language development
  • Hearing deficiencies are detected in one or both ears
  • Additional testing is needed immediately

Hearing loss can occur any time after birth. If your baby has any of the following risk factors, hearing should be checked again:

  • Family history of deafness
  • Admittance to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 24+ hours
  • Various illnesses including Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Ear infections or middle ear fluid

0-3 MONTHS 3-6 MONTHS 6-10 MONTHS
  • Startled by loud sounds
  • Quiets to your voice
  • Makes cooing sounds
  • Turns eyes toward sounds
  • Responds to mom's voice
  • Enjoys rattles
  • Babbles "ba-ba" or "ga-ga"
  • Turns head toward sounds
  • Begins to imitate speech sounds
  • Babbles more frequently
9-12 MONTHS 12-15 MONTHS
  • Responds to own name
  • Understands "no-no" and "bye-bye"
  • Turns head toward soft sounds
  • Correctly uses "ma-ma" and "da-da"
  • Points to familiar objects when asked
  • Responds to singing/music

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Newborn Hearing Screening Program
Oklahoma State Department of Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave., Ste. 1702

Oklahoma City, OK 73102-6406

Physical Address:
Newborn Hearing Screening Program
Oklahoma State Department of Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Phone: (405) 426-8220  (Option 1 for Hearing)
Fax: (405) 900-7554
E-Mail: OSDH.NewbornHearing@health.ok.gov