Office of Newborn Screening

Information for Parents

Note: Because some disorders can cause problems early in life, it is important for the contact information to be correct on the newborn screening card so that a family can be notified quickly if there is an abnormal result.

The Newborn Screening Story: How One Simple Test Changed Lives, Science and Health in America, published by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), covers the origins, science, importance and future of Newborn Screening.

With the right information, you can provide the best start for your baby's health. Did you know that over 90,000 babies are born in Arizona each year? Most of them are healthy but some have a rare and serious disease or hearing loss. Testing and early detection of these disorders is important for all babies. Early treatment can prevent or minimize serious symptoms like growth problems, brain damage and even death.

Hearing Screening

Nearly all babies born in Arizona are screened for hearing loss at their birth hospital. Newborn hearing screening is part of a program called Arizona Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (AzEHDI). The goals are:

  • that all babies are screened for hearing loss by one month of age;
  • a baby that does not pass the screening has a full hearing test by a pediatric audiologist by three months of age;
  • a baby that has a hearing loss is enrolled in early intervention before six months of age (as soon as identified); and
  • parents receive the support that they need at each step of the process

Newborn hearing screening is a simple test that nearly all newborns receive at their birth hospitals. The screening takes a few minutes while your baby is sleeping. This screening is the first step towards identifying a hearing loss. Early identification is very important. Hearing loss is found in about three babies out of every 1,000 born. In Arizona, that means that between 200-300 babies with hearing loss are born each year.

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Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions using the links below or contact us if you have additional questions or concerns.

What can we expect from a hearing screening?

  • Every baby should be tested before leaving the hospital.
  • Your baby may need to be tested again, if the baby does not pass.
  • The hospital will write results of the hearing screening on the back of the immunization record. Bring the blue immunization card to your baby's doctor.

If the second screening test is abnormal, your baby should be tested again before one month of age and may need more evaluation by an audiologist. The Arizona program will encourage and assist you in getting special services for your baby.

What's included in the Family Checklist Infant Hearing Guide?

These checklists provide a type of "road map" for parents and their baby's medical home when a baby has failed a newborn hearing screening. The first checklist (in English and Spanish) is for most babies who are fine at birth and come home from the hospital without an extended stay.

The high risk checklist is for babies who spend more than 5 days in a special care nursery (NICU) or have risk factors for hearing loss (listed on the bottom of the checklist).

These checklists include developmental milestones, timelines for rechecking baby's hearing and next steps.

Where can I go to get a hearing test?

What if my baby has a hearing loss?

Learn more about the types of hearing loss, causes, and signs your baby may have hearing loss.

How do I monitor my child's hearing?

Learn more about the developmental milestonesPDF from the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM). NOTE: These milestones are not to be used as a replacement for a hearing test.

What does a hearing impairment sound like?

The following four audio files replicate what your baby hears if they have normal hearing ability, along with mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss. Many multimedia sources are available to families of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing such as the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management:

Are there any educational videos available to learn more about hearing impairment?

A number of groups and organizations, such as the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, have produced videos to support Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs. Many of these videos are now available for viewing. Some can be downloaded for free; others can be viewed but must be purchased if you want to use outside of online use. Videos listed under Parent Training Materials contain only a sample segment of the actual video available for purchase.

Where can I find additional resources about hearing impairment and screening?