AAP Releases List of Often-Unnecessary Tests
Tests in response to short height, signs of early puberty may not be needed in healthy children
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- As part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a new list of five tests and procedures commonly ordered for signs of early puberty, short height, and other endocrine-related disorders that parents and physicians should question.
The AAP Section for Endocrinology compiled the list of tests, which should prompt careful discussion between parents and physicians. The tests may not always be needed, particularly if a child is otherwise healthy.
The list includes hormone tests for children with pubic hair and/or body odor with no other signs of puberty; screening to detect chronic disease or endocrine disorders in healthy children growing at or above the 3rd percentile with a normal growth rate; routine vitamin D screening for healthy children (including overweight or obese children); tests of thyroid function and/or insulin levels in children with obesity; and routine thyroid ultrasounds for children with simple goiters or autoimmune thyroiditis.
"As a pediatric endocrinologist, I've counseled many parents who are worried about their children's growth," Paul Kaplowitz, M.D., Ph.D., past chairperson of the AAP Section on Endocrinology, said in a statement. "There is a wide range of what is 'normal' for child growth and development. If a child is otherwise healthy and is following their own curve, what the parents often need is reassurance that their child is fine, and not a lot of testing."