Overview of New CDC Developmental Milestones for Young Children: Paul Lipkin, MD


The director of medical outpatient services at the Kennedy Krieger Institute provided insight on the recently announced revisions to the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” CDC developmental milestones for children. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"Two decades ago, the CDC took on an effort to try to educate the public about early child development through the 'Learn the Signs. Act Early.' program, and they themselves incorporated developmental milestones within that. They were using the same milestones that had been used from other sources, and used quite commonly, that were essentially perceived by others as being written in stone."

For decades, parents and clinicians used milestones set by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) to evaluate the neurodevelopment of children. Earlier this year, in February, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced they were updating their previous guidelines from 2004, to better reflect recent data on when children were reaching milestones such as crawling, walking, speech, and more. Otherwise known as the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.,” these milestones are critical in helping determine the need for developmental screenings for an infant.

The biggest change to the guidelines is that they are now based on the 75th percentile instead of 50th. Essentially, it’s considered typical for 3 out of every 4 babies to reach a specific milestone by a specific age instead of 2 out of 4. To learn more about the specific changes, and the need for these updated milestones, NeurologyLive® sat down with Paul Lipkin, MD, director of medical outpatient services at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Lipkin, a member of the AAP Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, harped on the vast research over the past 2 decades that has led the community to this point.

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