Academy of Pediatrics is publishing an updated schedule of its Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care
, also known as the periodicity schedule,
in the January 2016 issue of Pediatrics (published online Dec. 7). Outlining
evidence-based screenings and assessments that should be addressed at
well-child visits, the revised schedule reflects new and revised
recommendations published by the AAP over the past year. The changes to the
schedule were approved by the AAP Committee on Practice and Ambulatory
Medicine, Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule Workgroup in March 2014, May 2015
and October 2015.
- The recommendation for
routine vision screening at age 18 has been changed to risk-based
assessment, based on evidence showing that fewer new vision problems
develop in low-risk young adults.
- To help reduce dental
cavities, the top chronic disease affecting young children, a
recommendation has been added for fluoride varnish applications from 6
months through 5 years.
- Pediatricians are
advised to use the CRAFFT (Car, Relax, Forget, Friends, Trouble) screening
questionnaire as a tool to screen adolescents for drug and alcohol use.
- Depression screening has
been added, with suggested screenings every year from ages 11 through 21,
with suicide now a leading cause of death among adolescents.
- A screening for
dyslipidemia, or high blood cholesterol levels, has been added for
patients between 9 and 11 years old. The change reflected growing concerns
about the growing epidemic of obesity in children.
- A risk assessment is
added at 15 and 30 months for hematocrit or hemoglobin screening to help
detect anemia, an iron deficiency.
- An HIV screen was added
for adolescents between 16 and 18 years to address federal statistics
showing that 1 in 4 new HIV infections occurs in youth ages 13 to 24 years
old, and that about 60% of all youth with HIV do not know they are
- Screen for cervical
dysplasia, the presence of pre-cancerous cells on the surface of the
cervix, only at 21 years (instead of risk assessment every year from ages
11 through 21).
- A screening for critical
congenital heart disease using pulse oximetry has been added and should be
performed in the hospital before newborn discharge.
American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary
care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric
surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of
infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information,
visit www.aap.org or follow us at @AmerAcadPeds.