Like all children, CSHCN require regular preventive health care. The Bright Futures guidelines for health supervision of infants, children, and adolescents recommend that children visit a physician six times during the first year, three times in the second year, and annually thereafter for preventive health care visits.1 An annual preventive health care visit provides an opportunity to monitor a child’s growth and development, to assess his or her behavior, to provide appropriate immunizations, to discuss important issues regarding nutrition and prevention of injury and violence, and to answer parents’ questions about their children’s health and care.

The survey asked parents if their children received a preventive medical visit within the past year. The survey did not directly evaluate the number of visits each child received and whether children’s care met the Bright Futures recommendations.

Overall, the parents of 90.4 percent of CSHCN reported that their children received at least one preventive medical visit in the past year. This percentage was slightly higher among the youngest children (aged 0-5); 95.2 percent of these children received at least one well-child visit, compared to 88.5 percent of adolescents aged 12-17.

Among children with any type of insurance coverage, approximately 91 percent received at least one preventive medical visit, while only 70.3 percent of uninsured children had a well-child checkup.

1 Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Third edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008. Return to text.

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