February 10, 2018

Close to One in Three Kids Are Screened for Developmental Delays

Close to one in three kids are screened for developmental delays

From 2015 to 2016, 30% of children under the age of 6 — 2.6 million kids across the nation — were screened for developmental delays.

These screenings, recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, involve gathering feedback from parent and guardians about a young child’s development, communication and social behaviors. The likelihood that early screenings occur varies widely by state. In Mississippi — the state with the lowest screening rates — just 17% of children were screened for developmental delays, according to their parents. At the other end of the data spectrum sits Oregon, where 59% of young kids were screened.

Developmental screenings are an effective and low-cost way to assess a child’s behavioral and health needs. Kids who receive early screenings are more likely to be referred for needed care, according to research, and these early services can play a critical role in supporting a child’s ongoing well-being and growth.

Access more health and education data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center: