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Health Screening Guidelines, Ages 2 to 18

Screening tests and health counseling are a key part of managing your child's health. A screening test is done to find disorders or diseases in people who don't have any symptoms. Screening tests are not used to diagnose. They are used to find out if more testing is needed. The goal may be to find a disease early so it can be treated with more success. Or the goal may be find a disease so lifestyle changes can be made. And your child can be watched closely to reduce the risk of disease.

Below are guidelines for children and teens from ages 2 to 18. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider. Based on your child’s health history and risk factors, the provider may change the screening advice. Make sure your child is up-to-date on what they need.


Who needs it

How often

Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections

All people with a uterus in this age group who have sex

Once a year

High lead level

Children age 6 and younger

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


Children in this group who are ages 15 to 18. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider.

At routine exams at age 15 or older (or younger if at risk)


Assessment of risk for all children in this age group

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 1 time between ages 3 and 5 years. After that, every 3 years.


Children age 12 months and older

1 time at about 12 months old, then repeated as needed based on risk


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

Pale-skinned children starting at age 6 months

At routine exams

Prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Children in this age group who have sex

At routine exams

More physical activity

Children with obesity, diabetes, or prediabetes

At routine exams

Prevention of tobacco use

All 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
© 2000-2024 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.