Prevention Guidelines

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Prevention Guidelines, Birth to Age 2

Screening tests and vaccines are an important part of managing your child's health. Below are guidelines for these, for children from birth to age 2. Talk with your child's healthcare provider to make sure your child is up to date on what he or she needs .


Who needs it

How often

APGAR (a test to check the overall  health of a baby right after birth)

Breathing, color, heart rate, movement, and reflexes are checked

All newborns

1 and 5 minutes after birth

High lead level

All children in this age group

Risk assessment of lead exposure at ages 6, 9, and 18 months; risk assessment or blood test at ages 12 and 24 months

Newborn screenings (a series of tests for metabolic, endocrine, hemoglobin, and other conditions; tests may vary by state)

Tests include hearing loss, congenital hypothyroidism, phenylketonuria, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, severe heart problems, and severe immunodeficiency

All newborns; talk with your healthcare provider about the tests in your state

Before leaving the hospital, or at age 2 to 4 days

Tooth decay

Children ages 6 months and up

Dental exams 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


Who needs it

How often

DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis)

All infants

At ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, and a booster between ages 4 to 6 years

Chickenpox (varicella)

All infants who have not had chickenpox

Between ages 12 to 15 months (and the second dose between 4 to 6 years)

Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate

All infants

2-dose series: At ages 2 and 4 months; booster dose between ages 12 to 15 months

3-dose series: At ages 2, 4, and 6 months; booster dose between ages 12 to 15 months

Hepatitis A vaccine

All infants

Between ages 12 to 23 months, with a second dose at least 6 months after the first dose

Hepatitis B vaccine

All infants

At birth, between ages 1 to 2 months, and a final dose between ages 6 to 18 months

Inactivated poliovirus

All infants

At ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 to 18 months (and a booster between ages 4 to 6 years)

Influenza (flu)

Children 6 months and older

At 6 months of age, and then once a year; children 6 months through 8 years need 2 doses when vaccinated for the first time. Experts advise the flu shot as the first choice; the nasal spray can be used for healthy children 2 years or older who don't get the flu shot.

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

All infants

First dose between ages 12 to 15 months (and the second dose at 4 to 6 years, or before starting kindergarten)

Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13)

All infants

At ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and between ages 12 to 15 months


All infants

2-dose series: At ages 2 and 4 months

3-dose series: At ages 2,4, and 6 months

Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora, C., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Finke, Amy, RN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2017
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