The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new recommendations asking pediatricians to assess young children’s motor and developmental skills at each well-child visit.
An AAP panel laid out the skills a child should have developed at ages 9, 18, 30, and 48 months, to make it easier for pediatricians to formalize screenings. For example, a 9-month-old baby should be able to roll to both sides, sit without support, and grasp objects.
Children’s National pediatrician Lee Beers, MD
, said that while her team has been doing similar evaluations for years, she’s happy the AAP has formalized these recommendations.
“While a lot of other practices, including our own Children's Health Center, already do this, the formalized evaluation really helps,” said Dr. Beers. “Using this standardized method of screening helps pediatricians identify more subtle signs of motor and developmental delays.”
The AAP report recommends involving parents and healthcare providers in the screening, to allow the parents to ask any questions and express concerns, while the pediatricians can observe behaviors and address parents’ concerns.
With this new set of recommendations, pediatricians can diagnose a child early, make any necessary referrals to therapy, and improve the child’s mobility and development.
Parents should be familiar with common milestones at various ages and should ask their pediatrician if they have any concerns.
For more information on this study, go to HealthyChildren.org