The paediatric audiology team provide a comprehensive hearing
assessment and hearing aid service for children from birth onwards.
Our team has considerable knowledge and experience in the
assessment of children's hearing and the appropriate management of
those children identified with a hearing impairment.
All babies are offered a newborn hearing test. Whenever possible
babies will be tested before they have left the maternity unit.
Babies who did not get their first screen on the maternity ward or
babies who need a follow up test will be offered an appointment in
an outpatient setting. Where indicated a baby will be offered a
referral to their local Audiology Department for further hearing
Some babies will be offered a second test at eight months of
age. They may be at slightly higher risk of developing a hearing
loss in the first few months of life. Invite letters will be sent
to all babies requiring this test around 8-9 months of age
(corrected age where a baby is premature).
If you are concerned about your child's hearing we accept
o Paediatrician or Consultant
o Health Visitor or School Nurse
o Speech and Language Therapist
o Other Health Professionals
During the appointment you will see one or two members from our
paediatric team of specialised audiologists who are trained in
testing children's hearing. The appointment will usually last 30
minutes. Sometimes you may need to come back for further
We will ask you some questions about your child's hearing,
speech, general development, birth, medical history and any family
history of hearing problems.
For children 6 months onwards we will try and test their hearing
by getting them to respond to a sound in some way therefore it is
important that your child is awake.
The hearing test needs to be carried out in a quiet room, so
wherever possible try to attend without siblings. It is not
possible to leave children unsupervised in the waiting area, but
they are welcome to wait there if they are accompanied by an adult.
All children 16 years and under must be accompanied by an adult
We will carry out an automatic test for which we
require your baby to be asleep. (see objective
6 Months to 2½ yrs
We will have your child sitting on your knee whilst we will play
with some basic toys on a table in front of them. We will encourage
your child to turn to a sound and be rewarded with a cartoon image
that will light up and animate. The sound will be generated through
a speaker, small foam tips in their ears, or through a small
headband behind their ear.
2½ yrs to 5 yrs
We will teach your child to play a game when they hear a sound.
This may involve a stacking or building game. The sound will be
generated either through a speaker, small foam tips in their ears,
headphones or a small headband behind their ear.
We will have your child wear a set of small foam tips,
headphones or a small headband behind their ear and play sounds
directly into their ears. We will get them to respond by pressing a
button when they have heard the sound.
* Ages are approximate and can vary depending on each individual
We may carry out a test to see if there is any congestion behind
your child's eardrums. This involves placing a small tip into the
edge of the ear and puffing a small amount of air into the ear
For babies under 6 months or children who are difficult to test,
we can attempt to assess their hearing without them having to
respond, known as objective testing. These are the main types of
objective test we perform;
1. Oto-acoustic emissions (OAE)
2. Auditory Brainstem Response (VRA)
The test can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours and on
some occasions a second appointment may be required to complete the
To obtain the most accurate results for these tests we require
your child to be asleep.
For the ABR test we will clean areas of your child's skin on
their forehead and behind their ears.
It is important that the room is quiet throughout testing and
that your baby is asleep, therefore it is advisable not to bring
other children to the appointment however we are happy for you to
bring a friend or relative if you wish to.
After any testing, we will discuss the results with you and
advise you if any further testing needs to be carried out. All
relevant information will be passed to the necessary professionals
'I am writing to congratulate you on your wonderful staff you
have working for you at DMH.'
Patient, Catering / Porters / Domestics, Darlington Memorial