Most Americans do not follow the recommendations of pediatricians in screening children for developmental pathology

Despite the fact that U.S. pediatricians recommends that all infants and young children be screened for the presence of pathologies, the results of the surveys show that most parents do not follow these recommendations.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, analyzed data on a nationally representative survey of parents and guardians 5668 children from 9 to 35 months. The surveys were conducted online from June 2016 to February 2017, reports Reuters.

On the basis of the results, the researchers came to the conclusion that approximately 9 million children from 9 to 35 months in the United States only 30% are age-appropriate examination for any delays in such areas as speech and social development. And only 37% of them receive a so-called developmental surveillance – the doctors asked the parents if they have any concerns about learning, development or behavior of their child.

“Early detection and intervention can greatly improve the development and educational success for people with developmental delays and disabilities,” said the study authors. In their opinion, parents should ask the doctor about the screenings that are recommended at 9, 18 and 24 and 30 months.

“Since parents know their children better, they should discuss with the doctor any problems that may arise with the development of the child or when meeting with certain linguistic, social and physical development benchmarks in a particular age, such as babbling or talking, eye contact or the ability to hold a pencil,” they stress.

In the United States, approximately 12 to 15% of children have signs of developmental delays or disabilities. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends screening for the presence of pathologies during regular doctor visits at 9, 18 and 30 months and screening for autism at 18 and 24 months. In addition, the AAP also recommends that screening and ongoing monitoring, if parents or doctors suspect the development of pathology.

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