Receipt of Preventive Care
In 2005, nearly 73 percent of children under 18 years of age were reported by their parents to have had a preventive medical visit (or “well-child” visit) in the past year. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children have eight health care visits in their first year, three in their second year, and at least one per year from middle childhood through adolescence.
Despite the recommendation that older children should have one visit per year, only 66.7 percent of children aged 10–14 years and 64.8 percent of children aged 15–17 years had a well-child visit in the past year. Younger children (aged birth to 4 years) were the most likely to have had a well-child visit in the past year (85.4 percent).
The likelihood of children receiving preventive care also varied by race and ethnicity. Non-Hispanic Black children were the most likely to have had a preventive medical visit in the past year (77.6 percent), followed by non-Hispanic White children (73.7 percent). Hispanic children were least likely to have had a preventive visit (67.1 percent).
In 2005, children with family incomes above the poverty level were more likely to receive a preventive visit than children with family incomes below the poverty level (73.9 versus 69.3 percent; data not shown).