Detection of pure tones is known to improve in early childhood. The ability to suppress self-generated noise during detection tasks has been identified as a contributing factor to higher audiometric thresholds in children. Data from children with hearing loss indicate that children with thresholds that are above the level of self-generated noise do not show the same improvements across age as peers who can hear their self-generated noise. In an effort to examine the specific cognitive mechanisms that affect this process, audiometric thresholds and executive functions skills were measured in a group of 213 1st and 3rd grade children (84 children with normal hearing, 129 children with hearing loss). The relationship between selective attention and vigilance and thresholds were assessed for both groups. Children with stronger selective attention and vigilance skills had lower pure-tone thresholds than peers with poorer skills in these domains. The previous finding that children only showed an improvement in thresholds when they could hear their self-generated noise was also replicated. Audiometric test equipment that can monitor the sound level in the ear canal may help to increase the accuracy of clinical pure-tone detection tasks in children.