AAP Updates Preventive Pediatric Healthcare Screening Schedule

December 7, 2015

AAP Updates Preventive Pediatric Healthcare Screening Schedule

  1. Louis M. Bell, MD

New recommendations cover oral health, developmental/behavioral screening, and new procedural assessments.

  1. Louis M. Bell, MD

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated the schedule of “Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care.” The evidence-based changes and new recommendations — intended for well child visits — are summarized below:

  • Vision screening: Changed from routine screening to a risk-assessment approach, because healthy young adults rarely develop new vision problems.

  • Oral health: New recommendation for fluoride varnish from ages 6 months through 5 years. (https://www2.aap.org/oralhealth/PracticeTools.html)

  • Alcohol and drug use assessment: Addition of the CRAFFT screening tool for adolescents. (http://www.Ceasar-boston.org/CRAFFT/index.php)

  • Depression screening: New recommendation at ages 11 through 21 years.

  • Dyslipidemia screening: An additional screening between ages 9 and 11 years is now recommended in response to the obesity epidemic.

  • Hematocrit or hemoglobin: Measurement at ages 15 and 30 months has been added to detect iron deficiency anemia, which can negatively affect neurodevelopment.

  • HIV screening:Now recommended between ages 16 and 18 years.

  • Cervical dysplasia screening: No longer recommended for adolescents. Screening can begin at age 21 years.

  • Critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) screening: Newborns should be screened prior to discharge using pulse oximetry to detect CCDH that may have been missed with prenatal ultrasound.


The “Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care,” also referred to as the periodicity table, includes links to AAP policy statements that provide the evidence on which these changes are based. Links to the validated screening tools are also included.

Editor Disclosures at Time of Publication

  • Disclosures for Louis M. Bell, MD at time of publication Grant / Research support NIH Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award; AHRQ National Center for Pediatric Practice Based Research Learning; Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Editorial boards Current Problems in Pediatric Adolescent Healthcare, Associate Editor


Reader Comments (1)

mulyono mulyono, Doctor, Pediatrician Physician, Pediatric Subspecialty, Diponegoro National Hospital

good artcle

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