Millions of infants and children aren’t receiving recommended medical care aimed at detecting and preventing disease. Many American kids growing up now won’t have those memories, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Preventive services that kids and teens are missing out on range from basic medical care to vaccinations and screenings that can have a lifelong impact on their health.
The appraisal, published in the Sept. 12 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, also revealed large disparities between groups when it comes to receiving preventive services.
For example, uninsured children are less likely than insured kids to receive these services, and Hispanic children were less likely than non-Hispanics to have reported vision screening.
“We must protect the health of all children and ensure that they receive recommended screenings and services,” Dr. Stuart Shapira, associate director for science in CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said in a CDC news release. “Increased use of clinical preventive services could improve the health of infants, children and teens and promote healthy lifestyles that will enable them to achieve their full potential.”
Specifically, the CDC found that:
- Parents of eight out of 10 young children had not been asked by their doctor to fill out a formal screening questionnaire to detect developmental delays.
- More than half of children and teens had not visited a dentist in the past year, and nearly nine out of 10 had not received a dental sealant or fluoride treatment.
- About half of infants who failed their initial hearing screening did not receive the follow-up testing needed to diagnose potential hearing loss.