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Well-Child Visits

Narrative

In 2009, 78.0 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. Well-child visits offer an opportunity not only to monitor children’s health and provide immunizations, but also to assess a child’s behavior and development, discuss nutrition, and answer parents’ questions.

The proportion of children receiving well-child visits declines with age. In 2009, 88.7 percent of children 4 years of age and younger received a preventive visit in the past year, compared to 78.5 percent of children 5–9 years of age, 71.6 percent of children 10–14 years of age, and 69.0 percent of children 15–17 years of age.

Receipt of preventive medical care also varies by race and ethnicity. In 2009, non-Hispanic Black children were significantly more likely to have received a well-child visit in the past year (83.6 percent) than non-Hispanic White and Hispanic children (77.6 percent and 74.9 percent, respectively). Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native children had the lowest reported rate of preventive care in the past year (72.1 percent), but this was not statistically different than estimates for other racial/ethnic groups.

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

preventive health care receipt by age graph

This image is described in the Data section.

preventive health care receipt by race graph

Data

Receipt of Preventive Health Care in the Past Year Among Children Under Age 18, by Age, 2009

Percent of Children:

  • Total: 78.0
  • 0-4 Years: 88.7
  • 5-9 Years: 78.5
  • 10-14 Years: 71.6
  • 15-17 Years: 69.0

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. 2009 National Health Interview Survey. Unpublished data. Analyzed by the MCH Information Resource Center.

Receipt of Preventive Health Care in the Past Year Among Children Under Age 18, by Race/Ethnicity, 2009

Percent of Children:

  • Total: 77.9
  • Non-Hispanic White: 77.6
  • Non-Hispanic Black: 83.6
  • Hispanic: 74.9
  • Non-Hispanic Asian:  77.6
  • Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native: 72.1
  • Non-Hispanic Multiple Race:  79.2

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. 2009 National Health Interview Survey. Unpublished data. Analyzed by the MCH Information Resource Center.


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