Children's Preventive Health

Helping you keep your family healthy is our priority. That's why WHA provides you with the latest preventive health recommendations for your children. The guidelines are based on scientific evidence from reliable sources such as the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

As you view the guidelines, remember that the recommended preventive services by your child's doctor will be based on you child's individual health care needs.


A visit to your child's doctor means a thorough physical exam. Your doctor may ask you questions about your child's current health. These visits, known as wellness visits, are recommended soon after your baby is born and should continue into your child's preteen and adolescent years.

Depending on your child's age, the visit may include the following:

  • Birth to 24 Months: Measurement of weight and head circumference

  • Birth to 36 Months: Measurement of weight and length

  • Older than 36 Months through adolescent: Measurement of height and weight

For females beginning at age 18 years, Well Woman Visits are recommended every year. Visit to learn more.

Health Screenings

Your child's doctor will want to ensure your child is getting the right preventive health screenings for his or her particular health needs and advise that they be completed before, during or soon after your child's visit:

Birth to 24 Months*

  • Anemia screening: At 4 months and 12 months

  • Autism screening: At 18, 24 or 30 months

  • Hearing: At birth

  • Hypothyroidism: At birth

  • Phenylketonuria: At birth

  • Sickle Cell Disease: At birth

  • Dental caries: Birth up to 5 years old

  • Lead Poisoning: 1 to 5 years old

  • Tuberculosis (TB) Skin Test: Only if your child is at risk

2-19 Years*

  • Anemia screening: Up to 19 years of age for those at risk

  • Vision: 3-5 years of age at least once

  • Height and Weight: At each visit

  • Blood Pressure: Beginning before age 3 age or as recommended by your doctor

  • Obesity and Body Mass Index (BMI): 6+ years of age at each visit

  • Tuberculosis (TB) Skin Test: Children at risk

11-19 Years*

In addition, your child may be screened for the following:

  • Sexually transmitted disease if sexually active and not pregnant, such as:

    • Chlamydia

    • HIV

    • Syphilis

    • Gonorrhea

  • Depression/Mental Health Assessment 12-18 years of age

  • Developmental/Behavioral Assessment

*Recommendations may vary based on your child's health needs, health risks or as recommended by your child's doctor. For more information about preventive services, visit US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to learn more. 

Health Education

During a visit to your child's doctor, information about what to expect at each stage of a child's life (developmental milestones) will be provided, including education on healthy habits specific to your child and family's needs.

Health care needs will change as your child continues to grow. Well child visits allow you and your child's doctor to discuss health topics that are important to your child's needs, such as:

Birth to 24 Months

  • Anemia Prevention: For children who are at risk for anemia, your child's doctor will discuss giving iron supplements. Note: Iron supplements are available over the counter and are not covered by your pharmacy benefit.

  • Safe Sleeping Positions: Birth to 12 months

  • Child Safety

  • Developmental Milestones

  • Dental Health

  • Healthy Weight and Nutrition

  • Immunizations

  • Injury and Violence Prevention

  • Psychosocial Development

  • Lead Poisoning: For children at risk up to 7 years old, your doctor will discuss preventive measures

2-19 Years

  • Anemia Prevention: Up to 19 years old

  • Child Safety

  • Developmental Milestones

  • Dental Health

  • Healthy Weight and Nutrition

  • Immunizations

  • Injury and Violence Prevention

  • Lead Poisoning: 1-5 years of age for those at risk

  • Psychosocial Development

  • Physical Activity: Your child's doctor will want to ensure activity is part of your child's daily routine

  • Sleeping Patterns: Adolescents and pre-adolescents need at least eight and a half to more than nine hours of sleep each night

18+ Years

In addition, your child's doctor will discuss the health risks for the following:

  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse

  • Depression

  • Sexual Behavior and Sexually Transmitted Infections

  • Tobacco Use/Avoidance

teen at doctors office

Last review date: January 25, 2021