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Hearing screening is quick and safe. Your baby might experience some brief discomfort when the earcups are removed. There is a small risk that the hearing screen might not pick up a baby who is born with hearing that needs further investigation.
The main risk of not having a hearing screen is delay in diagnosis if a baby has a hearing loss. Early diagnosis allows for early assistance which gives babies with a hearing loss the best possible start. There are no alternatives to newborn hearing screening.
Hearing loss is more complex than simply being able to hear loud sounds. Most babies with hearing loss will still react to loud sounds. The important sounds for speech and language development are soft sounds and these are difficult to test in newborns without specialist equipment.