Developmental Milestones For Children Updated By CDC For The First Time In 20 Years
To help parents identify developmental delays in children, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have issued an updated checklist of developmental milestones. These updated milestones will be used to monitor the child's development as early as possible.
The update of these milestones is the first one in almost two decades and has been long overdue. The update was conducted by a group of eight doctors who specialize in different areas of child development.
The updated checklist will question milestones of 75% or more of children are expected to achieve at a given age. Previously, the checklist used 50th percentile milestones. A pediatrician who was a member of the team of doctors who devised the checklist says, "the earlier a child is identified with a developmental delay, the better, as treatment as well as learning interventions can begin" (Dr. Paul H. Lipkin).
However, the update is not meant to cause worry or unnecessary confusion to the parents, families, or even professionals. The fact that the guidelines in the updated checklist have been revised with care and expertise and data from clinicians has been used to accomplish this aim should erase anxiety from the minds of all.
Parents of children up to five years old can keep track of their child's developmental milestones with the help of the CDCs milestone tracker app, which is free and notifies or alerts parents if their child misses any of the milestone development in the area of play, learning, speaking, and movement.
The CDC’s Updated Checklist Of Developmental Milestones:
- Is more reader-friendly and understandable.
- Avoids confusion on what milestones children should reach at different ages and stages by eliminating the use of words like may and begins.
- Duplicate milestones have been removed, which had been used as milestones for multiple ages.
- A new checklist has been added for babies between 15 to 30 months old.
- A checklist for every well-child visit for kids between two months and five years old has been included.
- Out of the original 216 milestones in 10 checklists, the CDC has brought down the total milestones to 159 across 12 checklists.
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The Message Of The Checklist
The message that the CDC and the AAP are trying to convey to parents is that they should regularly pay visits to their child's pediatrician for screening and developmental delays. The early detection of a problem can make a big difference to the child's ability to learn new skills that also reduces the need for future and expensive interventions.
The milestones provide more clarity to parents and health care providers. Children who need evaluation can be identified and referred to the specialists concerned immediately, without waiting for long periods. The changes in the checklist will hopefully ease several concerns that parents have and will also reassure them that their children will receive all the help and support they need from the health services.