Newly adopted children: AAP updates comprehensive health evaluation guidelines

  • Jones VF & al.
  • Pediatrics
  • 1 May 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its policy statement on conducting a comprehensive health evaluation in newly adopted children.
  • Evaluations can be performed even before adoption is finalized, say the authors.

Why this matters

  • Updates a statement from 2012 that was reaffirmed in 2016.
  • About 120,000 children are adopted in the United States annually, according to the report. 

Key recommendations

  • Children should have a comprehensive evaluation as soon as possible.
  • Clinicians should begin with a review of all available medical records, relevant history that is available.
  • Conduct a complete physical exam, with diagnostic testing based on findings or known risks.
  • Screenings should be administered as age-appropriate and include hearing, vision, dental, and behavioral/developmental screenings.
  • Refer to specialists as warranted.
  • Ensure the child is currently on immunizations.
  • International adoptions warrant tuberculosis, HIV, HBV testing, along with testing for sexually transmitted infections.
  • Nutrient deficiencies are possible.
  • Some special cases, such as adoption from foster care, a history of high stress or psychological trauma, or adoption from institutions may require alertness to need for mental health support.
  • Aid the family in identifying resources as needed. 

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