Health Screening Guidelines, Ages 2 to 18

Screening tests and health counseling are an important part of managing your child's health. A screening test is done to find possible disorders or diseases in children who don't have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so that changes can be made and your child can be watched more closely to lower their chance for the disease. Screening tests also help detect a disease early enough to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are used to find out if more testing is needed. Below are general guidelines for children and teens from ages 2 to 18. Talk with your child's healthcare provider to make sure your child is up-to-date on what they need.


Who needs it

How often

Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections

Sexually active females, including those pregnant, ages 24 years and younger

Once a year or as advised during pregnancy

High lead level

Children who have possible or confirmed exposure to lead or show symptoms of lead poisoning

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



Children in this age group at risk for infection; talk with your child’s healthcare provider

Screening at least once between the ages of 15 and 21 and at routine exams as needed based on risk factors

Overweight and obesity

Assessment of overweight and obesity risk using BMI categories in children age 2 to 19 years

At routine exams

Oral health

All children in this age group

Oral health risk assessments every 6 months beginning at age 6 months. Fluoride supplements from age 6 months to 16 years for those with low fluoride levels in their water supply. Fluoride varnish should be applied every 6 months starting at age 6 months to age 5 years. 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 age 10 and older or who have reached puberty or are overweight or obese and have one or more other risk factors for diabetes

Every 3 years if tests are normal or more frequently if BMI increases

Blood pressure

All children 3 years of age and older

Annual well-child visit

Vision and hearing

All children in this age group

Vision testing starting at 1 month to 5 years assessed at each routine visit, followed by testing every 1 to 2 years after age 5 years. Hearing First screening before 1 month of age, then testing at ages 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10 years, with additional screenings between ages 11 and 14, 15 and 17, and 18 and 21.


Who needs it

How often

Depression and suicide risk

Children between ages 12 and 18 years

At routine exams


Children between ages 8 and 18 years

At routine exams

Prevention of sexually transmitted infections

Children in this age group who are sexually active

At routine exams

Prevention of skin cancer

Sun protection is important for children of all ages.

At routine exams

Increased physical activity

All children, especially those with diabetes or prediabetes

At routine exams

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2024
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