It is very important to make sure that children have access to preventive care services from their physician and other health professionals.
Preventive health care works to prevent patients from developing illnesses and chronic diseases, which allows for a much better quality of life for the child. There are numerous other benefits for participating in preventive care services including lowered or completely eliminated medical bills and improved health and wellness.
Preventive care services are usually tests or screenings that are used to assess the patient’s health as part of a routine check-up. The tests or screenings detect whether or not the patient has a disease or any health issues that may develop into a disease. If medical problems are detected, action can be taken to prevent the disease from forming, or to delay the onset of that particular disease. In addition, if an illness or disease is detected early enough, treatment can be started immediately, and it will likely be much more effective.
While preventive health care services are available to everyone regardless of age, sex, race, income level or other factors, there are certain preventive services specifically designed for children. The preventive care needed for a specific child will vary depending on a few factors. Those factors generally include age, sex and certain risk factors. A risk factor is a characteristic of the child or the child’s situation that could lead to an increased likelihood of developing a disease or illness. Risk factors may include inadequate hygiene, being at an unhealthy weight and more.
It should also be noted that because of the Affordable Care Act, many different insurance policies are required to offer 100 percent coverage for many different preventive health care services. Some insurance policies also may not require a copay, deductible or other form of insurance cost sharing to be paid. However, you will need to contact your insurance agency in order to determine whether the following services require any out-of-pocket charges as part of your coverage.
The following preventive services are broken down into different age categories, although some services may be recommended for children at different ages depending on that child. It is important to speak to your child’s primary care physician in order to understand what preventive screenings are necessary for your child. Read the sections below for specific lists of some of the most common preventive health services available for children:
Preventive Services for Children Age 0 to 11 Months include:
Preventive Services for Children Age 1 to 4 Years:
Preventive Services for Children Age 5 to 10 Years:
Preventive Services for Children Age 11 to 14 Years:
Preventive Services for Children Age 15 to 17 Years:
Other Preventive Services for Children at Various Ages:
As mentioned above, it is extremely important to speak with your child’s doctor in order to come up with a preventive health care plan that works best for your child. Certain risk factors may influence the decision to have certain tests or screenings done during a different time period than originally planned on. Additionally, there may be other preventive health care tests recommended for your child that are not included in the lists above.
The best time to determine your child’s health needs is during his or her routine wellness check-up. Most of the preventive tests will be performed during these check-up doctor appointments, and they will also provide a good opportunity to speak about any health concerns you or your child may have. If preventive health care is used appropriately, your child can increase his or her likelihood of staying healthy by preventing or quickly treating any diseases or illnesses.