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Health Screening Guidelines, Ages 2 to 18

Screening tests and health counseling are an important part of managing your child's health. A screening test is done to find possible disorders or diseases in children who don't have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so changes can be made and your child can be watched more closely to lower their chance for the disease. Screening tests also help detect a disease early enough to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are used to find out if more testing is needed. Below are guidelines for children and teens from ages 2 to 18. Talk with your child's healthcare provider to make sure your child is up to date on what they need.

Gender words are used here to talk about anatomy and health risk. Please use this information in a way that works best for you and your provider as you talk about your care.

Screening

Who needs it

How often

Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections

Sexually active females, including those pregnant, ages 24 years and younger

Once a year or as advised during pregnancy

High lead level

Children who are 6 years of age and younger

Questions to determine risk or blood screening tests may be done once a year.

HIV

Children in this age group at risk for infection; talk with your child’s healthcare provider

At routine exams

Obesity

Assessment of obesity risk in children 6 years of age and older

At routine exams

Oral health

All children in this age group

Oral health risk assessments every 6 months; fluoride supplements from age 6 months to 16 years for those with low fluoride levels in their water; fluoride varnish should be applied every 3 to 6 months; fluoride rinses may be used in children age 6 years or older, if they are able to rinse and spit

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

Children age 10 and older or who have reached puberty and are overweight or obese and have1 or more other risk factors for diabetes

Every 3 years

Blood pressure

All children 3 years of age and older

Annual well child visit

Vision and hearing

All children in this age group

Hearing and vision testing at ages 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10

Counseling

Who needs it

How often

Depression

Children between ages 12 and 18 years

At routine exams

Anxiety

Children between ages 8 and 18 years

At routine exams

Prevention of sexually transmitted infections

Children in this age group who are sexually active

At routine exams

Prevention of skin cancer

Fair-skinned children starting at age 10 years up to age 24

At routine exams

Increased physical activity

All children, especially those with diabetes or prediabetes

At routine exams

Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Pat F Bass MD MPH
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2021
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