U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Preventive Health Care Visits

In 2007, nearly 74 percent of children under 18 years of age were reported by their parents to have had a preventive, or “well-child”, medical visit in the past year. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have eight preventive health care visits in their first year, three in their second year, and at least one per year from middle childhood through adolescence.

Young children were more likely than children of other ages to have a well-child visit: 82.7 percent of children aged 4 years and younger had a visit in the past year, compared to 75.8 percent of children aged 5-9 years, 69.1 percent of children aged 10-14 years, and only 63.3 percent of children aged 15-17 years.

The proportion of children receiving preventive medical care also varies by race and ethnicity. In 2007, non-Hispanic Black children were the most likely to have had a well-child visit in the past year (79.8 percent), followed by non-Hispanic White children (74.1 percent). Hispanic children were least likely to have had preventive care (68.5 percent).

Receipt of preventive medical care also varies by poverty status. In 2007, 74.3 percent of children with family incomes above the poverty threshold ($21,203 for a family of four in 2007) had a well-child visit in the past year, compared to 70.7 percent of children with family incomes below the poverty threshold (data not shown).

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