The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released its updated list of recommended health care screenings for children, that include checking for depression, high cholesterol and HIV. Mayo Clinic Children's Center pediatrician Dr. Angela Mattke says the revised recommendations are a "firm affirmative to pediatricians that doing these screenings or testing will be beneficial to the child’s health."
What are well-child visits?
Well-child visits are another name for routine checkups or physicals. "Much of the AAP Preventive Health Care Screening and Assessment Schedule for Children's Checkups includes screening as opposed to skipping straight to testing. Screening usually involves asking questions pertaining to the subject or using a validated screening tool such as the CRAFFT (Car, Relax, Forget, Friends, Trouble) for drug and alcohol use or PHQ-9 Modified (depression screening tool) to make sure questions are asked in such a way that have been shown to pick up children and teens at risk for whatever they are screening for," says Dr. Mattke.
She stresses that screening children is necessary because some children are at risk for these health conditions, the rate of the conditions is increasing in younger age groups, and without screening, they may go undiagnosed and suffer serious health consequences.