Well-Child Visits

Publication Date:

Dec 27, 2018

Key facts about well-child visits

  • The proportion of children under age 6 who received a well-child checkup in the past year increased from 84 percent in 2000 to 90 percent in 2017.
  • Children without health insurance coverage are less likely than children with coverage to have received a well-child checkup in the past year (66 versus 91 percent, respectively, in 2017), although this gap has been shrinking since 2007.
  • In 2017, children with a parent who had obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher were most likely to have received a well-child checkup in the past year (95 percent), compared with children whose parents had received less than a high school degree (82 percent).
  • In 2017, the difference between the proportions of children under age 2 and children ages 4 to 5 receiving a well-child checkup was negligible (90 and 88 percent, respectively); this represents a shift from 2000, when 89 percent of children under age 2 received a checkup, compared with 81 percent children ages 4 to 5.

Trends in well-child visits

The proportion of children under age 6 who received a well-child checkup in the past year was 90 percent in 2017, an increase from 84 percent in 2000. Most of the increase has occurred since 2006, when the proportion reached a low of 83 percent (Appendix 1).

Differences by health insurance coverage

In 2017, children without health insurance coverage were less likely than children with coverage to have received a well-child checkup in the past year (66 versus 91 percent, respectively). However, this gap has been shrinking since 2007, when only 57 percent of uninsured children received a well-child checkup, compared with 85 percent of insured children. Of those who had health insurance, children covered by public health insurance were less likely to have received a well-child visit than those with private insurance (88 and 94 percent in 2017, respectively) (Appendix 1).

Differences by race and Hispanic origin*

A lower proportion of Hispanic children receive well-child checkups than non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black children. In 2017, 87 percent of Hispanic children received a well-child checkup, compared with 91 percent of non-Hispanic white and 92 percent of non-Hispanic black children (Appendix 1).

*Hispanic children may be of any race.

Differences by parental education

Children with parents who have more education are more likely to receive a well-child checkup. In 2017, children whose parents had a bachelor’s degree or higher were most likely to have received a well-child checkup in the past year (95 percent), followed by those whose parents had some college (89 percent), children whose parents had only a high school diploma (88 percent), and children of parents with less than a high school degree (82 percent) (Appendix 1).

Differences by age

In 2017, the proportion of children who received a well-child checkup in the past year was 90 percent for children under age 2, 92 percent for children ages 2 to 3, and 88 percent for children ages 4 to 5. Although younger children were previously more likely than older children to have received a well-child checkup, the difference in percentages for children under age 2 and their older peers decreased in 2017 (Appendix 1).

State and local estimates

The Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health provides state-level data on preventive medical visits for all children under age 18, available at http://childhealthdata.org/browse/survey/results?q=4685&r=1&g=604.

The Data Resource Center also provides state-level “NSCH medical home profiles,” at http://childhealthdata.org/browse/snapshots/medical-home-nsch.

A medical home is a source of care where the child has a personal doctor or nurse, and receives family-centered care that is comprehensive, coordinated, and culturally sensitive.

Data and appendices

Data source

Child Trends’ original analysis of data from the National Health Interview Survey, 2000–2017.

Raw data source

National Health Interview Survey.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm

Appendices

Appendix 1. Percentage of Children under Age 6 Who Received a Well-Child Checkup in the Past Year: 2000–2017

Background

Definition

In the context of this indicator, a child received a well-child checkup in the past year if his or parent answered “yes” to the question, “During the past twelve months, did {sample child} receive a well-child check-up, that is a general check-up, when {he/she} was not sick or injured?”

Suggested Citation

Child Trends Databank. (2018). Well-child visits. Available at: https://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=well-child-visits