Developmental Screening in Children: Promoting Healthy Development and Catching Problems Early

Jacqueline Sedgwick, MD, MPH


July 17, 2012

In This Article


The foundations of healthy early child development include good nutrition; stable, responsive relationships with caregivers; adequate cognitive stimulation; and a safe, supportive environment. Family medical services must support healthy development while offering family-centered, community-based, and culturally competent services. Incorporating screening and health promotion services into routine well-child visits affords early identification of problems, including nutritional, physical, mental, developmental, and social issues. Training staff and creating and using a practice-specific referral form will facilitate this process. By offering treatment, referral, and follow-up, you can help families have healthy lifestyles and optimize child development, mitigating the adverse effects of problems. By developing an ongoing supportive relationship with families and referral agencies, you will create a medical home for your patients.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.