Prevention Guidelines, Ages 2 to 18

Screening tests and vaccines are an important part of managing your child's health. A screening test is done to find possible disorders or diseases in people who don't have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so changes can be made and you can be watched more closely to lower your chance for the disease. Screening tests also help detect a disease early enough to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are used to determine if more testing is needed. Below are guidelines for children and teens from ages 2 to 18. Talk with your child's healthcare provider to make sure your child is up to date on what he or she needs.

We understand gender is a spectrum. We may use gendered terms to talk about anatomy and health risk. Please use this sheet in a way that works best for you and your provider as you talk about your care.


Who needs it

How often

Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections

Sexually active females, including those pregnant, ages 24 years and younger

Once a year or as advised during pregnancy

High lead level

Children who are 6 years of age and younger

Questions to determine risk or blood screening tests may be done once a year.


Children in this age group at risk for infection; talk with your child’s healthcare provider

At routine exams


Assessment of obesity risk in children 6 years of age and older

At routine exams

Oral health

All children in this age group

Oral health risk assessments every 6 months; fluoride supplements from age 6 months to 16 years for those with low fluoride levels in their water; fluoride varnish should be applied every 3 to 6 months; fluoride rinses may be used in children age 6 years or older, if they are able to rinse and spit

Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

Children age 10 and older or who have reached puberty and are overweight or obese and have1 or more other risk factors for diabetes

Every 3 years

Blood pressure

All children 3 years of age and older

Annual well child visit

Vision and hearing

All children in this age group

Hearing and vision testing at ages 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10


Who needs it

How often

DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis)

All children younger than age 7

Booster between ages 4 and 6 years

Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis)

All children age 7 or older

Booster between ages 11 and 12 years

Chickenpox (varicella)

Children who have not had chickenpox

Booster between ages 4 and 6 years

Hepatitis A

Children at risk (talk with your child’s healthcare provider) or those who didn’t have the vaccine at an earlier age

Should be fully vaccinated by age 2; if not, can have vaccine at routine visits, with second dose given at least 6 months after first dose

Hepatitis B 

Children who didn’t have the vaccine at an earlier age

3-dose series: The second dose is given 1 to 2 months after the first dose, and the final dose is given 6 months after the first dose


Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Children age 11 or 12 years, but may be given beginning at age 9 years through age 26

2-dose series: Ages 9 to 14 years, with second dose 6 to 12 months after the first

3-dose series: Ages 15 to 26, with the second dose given 1 to 2 months after the first dose, and the third dose given 6 months after the first dose

Inactivated poliovirus

All children

A final dose between ages 4 and 6 years

Influenza (flu)

All children in this age group

Once a year

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

All children

Second dose between ages 4 and 6 years

Meningococcal (conjugate)

All children

1 dose between ages 11 and 12, and a booster at age 16, or by age 18 if not vaccinated before; only 1 dose is needed if the first dose is given at age 16 years or older; high-risk children should receive a vaccine series before age 2 years

Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23) 

PCV13: Healthy children between ages 2 and 5 years if not previously vaccinated at a younger age

PCV13/PPSV23: High-risk children (PCV13 starting at age 5 years and PPSV23 starting at age 2 years)

If both vaccines needed, PCV13 is given before PPSV23; timing and number of doses varies


Who needs it

How often


Children between ages 12 and 18 years

At routine exams

Prevention of sexually transmitted infections

Children in this age group who are sexually active

At routine exams

Prevention of skin cancer

Fair-skinned children starting at age 10 years up to age 24

At routine exams

Increased physical activity

All children, especially those with diabetes or prediabetes

At routine exams

Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Pat F Bass MD MPH
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2021
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