Without symptoms of disease, children generally do not need many laboratory screening tests. However, helping children develop healthy habits, like eating well and being active, could prevent serious and costly health problems as they grow older. For example, helping an overweight or obese child reduce his or her weight can prevent diabetes and heart disease in later years.
The menu above links you to articles on the few conditions and diseases for which children may be screened. The articles summarize recommendations from various authorities on screening tests for children, and there is consensus in many areas, but not all. Therefore, when discussing screening with your child's healthcare provider and making decisions about testing, it is important to consider your child's individual health situation and risk factors.
You can find out more about preventive medicine and the steps you can take to keep you and your family healthy by reading the companion article Wellness and Prevention in an Era of Patient Responsibility.
American Academy of Pediatrics. 2014 Recommendations for Pediatric Preventive Health Care. Pediatrics March 2014, VOLUME 133 / ISSUE 3. Available online at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/133/3/568. Accessed October 2016.
2016 Pediatric Preventive Care Guidelines. Massachusetts Health Quality Partners. Available online through https://www.harvardpilgrim.org/. Accessed October 2016.