Prevention Guidelines for Children from 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. You and your child’s healthcare provider may decide that a different schedule is best for your child. But this plan can guide your discussion. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider to make sure your child is up to date on what they need.


Who needs it

How often

Apgar score. These are measurements done soon after birth. They include heart rate, breathing, skin color, muscle tone, and reflex responses. This score is used to check a newborn's general health at birth.

All newborns

1 and 5 minutes after birth

High lead level

All children in this age group

Risk assessment of lead exposure at 6, 9, and 18 months. Risk assessment or blood test at 12 and 24 months. Children considered to be at risk may need more testing from age 18 months to 6 years.

Newborn screenings. This is a series of tests for metabolic, endocrine, hemoglobin, and other conditions. The tests may vary by state. Tests check for hearing loss, congenital hypothyroidism, phenylketonuria, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, severe heart problems, and severe immunodeficiency.

All newborns. Ask your child's healthcare provider about the tests in your state.

Before leaving the hospital

Tooth decay

Children ages 6 months and older

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

Hepatitis B vaccine

All infants

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

DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis)

All infants

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

Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate

All infants

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

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

Inactivated poliovirus

All infants

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

Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13)

All infants

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

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

All infants

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

Chickenpox (varicella)

Those infants who have not contracted chickenpox

Between ages 12 to15 months and the second dose between 4 to 6 years

Flu (seasonal); trivalent inactivated influenza

All infants

At age 6 months, and then yearly when the flu vaccine is available. The first year your child gets this vaccine, 2 doses are required.

Hepatitis A

All infants

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


All infants

Two-dose series: at ages 2 months and 4 months

Three-dose series: at ages 2, 4, and 6

*Screening guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics

**Immunization schedule from the CDC

Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2023
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