Hearing tests in newborns
In Germany and other countries, newborn babies are routinely given hearing tests in order to detect and treat hearing impairments as early as possible. This can improve early language development in children who have hearing problems.
Nearly all babies can hear well: 997 out of 1,000 babies are born with normal hearing. Up to 3 out of 1,000 newborns have a moderate or severe hearing impairment. Most of these children hear a little worse than normal, but aren’t deaf. Without early hearing tests, hearing problems are often first detected when a child is between 2 and 4 years old. But hearing tests in newborns can’t detect all hearing impairments in children because some hearing impairments only develop later on in childhood.