New Pediatric Tests and Screenings

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New Pediatric Tests and Screenings

American Academy of Pediatrics updates recommendations

By Working Nurse
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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released its new recommendations for preventive screenings for children. The annual guidelines, known as the periodicity schedule, are a compilation of the latest evidence-based recommendations for routine tests and screenings.

What’s New

Below are some highlights of the new recommendations:

  • Newborns: The new schedule calls for newborns to be screened for critical congenital heart disease using pulse oximetry before initial hospital discharge.
  • Toddlers: The AAP now recommends risk assessments for anemia using hematocrit or hemoglobin screening at 
  • 15 months and 30 months. 
  • Older Children: Concerns about childhood obesity have led to a new recommendation for dyslipidemia (high cholesterol) screening for children 9–11.
  • Adolescents: The AAP now recommends annual depression screenings beginning at age 11 and HIV screening beginning at 16, noting that a frightening 60 percent of HIV-positive teens are unaware of their status. Screening for adolescent drug and alcohol use using the CRAFFT (Car, Relax, Alone, Forget, Friends, Trouble) questionnaire is also recommended.

Other Changes

The AAP has relaxed several of its past recommendations and now calls for:

  • Risk-based rather than routine vision assessment for 18-year-olds.
  • Routine cervical dysplasia screening (to detect early signs of cervical cancer) only for patients 21 and older, not for adolescents. 

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