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Health Screening Guidelines, Ages 2 to 18

Screening tests are an important part of managing your child's health. A screening test is done to find possible disorders or diseases in people who don't have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so lifestyle changes can be made. Your child can be watched more closely to reduce the risk of disease, or to find it early enough to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are not used to diagnose. Instead, they are used to decide if more testing is needed. Below are guidelines for these, for children and teens from ages 2 to 18.

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.  


Who needs it

How often

Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections

Sexually active females ages 24 years and younger

Once a year

High lead level

Children age 6 years old and younger

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


All people ages 15 to 65 years and younger or older people at increased risk. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider

At routine exams if 15 or older or younger if at risk


Assessment of obesity risk for all patients

At routine exams

Tooth decay and other dental problems 

All children in this age group

Dental exams 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 ages 10 or older who are overweight or obese and have 1 or more other risk factors for diabetes

At least every 3 years or more often if BMI is increasing

Blood pressure

All children 3 years of age and older

Annual well-child visit

Vision and hearing problems

All children in this age group

Screening once between ages 3 and 5 years, after that every 3 years


Children approximately 12 months and older

Once at approximately 12 months old, then repeated as needed based on risk assessment


Who needs it

How often


Children between ages 12 and 18 years

At routine exams


Children between ages 8 and 18

At routine exams

Prevention of skin cancer

Fair-skinned children starting at age 6 months

At routine exams

Prevention of sexually transmitted infections

Children in this age group who are sexually active

At routine exams

More physical activity

Children with obesity, diabetes, or prediabetes

At routine exams

Prevention of starting tobacco use

School-age children

At routine exams

Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tennille Dozier RN BSN RDMS
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2022
© 2000-2023 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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