What is a CDC Milestone Checklist?
Milestones are significant markers that help you keep track of how your child is growing. The way your child behaves in their learning, speaking, movement, and actions provides valuable insights, which are important to monitor. Having these indicators can give you an idea of how your child is developing and provide insight as to when to be concerned.
Despite being exposed to different environments or experiences, many children often reach milestones around the same age. The CDC Milestone Checklist lists the behaviors a child is expected to demonstrate at a certain age. These include social and emotional milestones, cognitive milestones, language or communication milestones, as well as movement and physical milestones.
The checklist begins from 2 months of age, with lists for various ages until the child reaches age 5. Although the aspects of development remain the same, the degrees of behavior progress with age, and the checklist provides examples of how the child may demonstrate these behavioral milestones. Furthermore, the checklist includes reminders for wellness or development screenings, which are essential for the child’s well-being and early detection of abnormalities (Zubler & Whitaker, 2022).
By using the CDC Milestone Checklist, parents, caregivers, and health practitioners can monitor a child’s development and complete any screening procedures or referrals when there may be concerns (Zubler & Whitaker, 2022).
How does it work?
The CDC Milestone Checklist Template is a resource designed to help caregivers and health practitioners track and document a child’s development. To show you how to use the checklist, we have devised the following steps:
Step 1: Access the checklist
Access the checklist electronically here, or download the PDF to print for a physical document using the following link:
Download the Printable CDC Milestone Checklist here.
Step 2: Become familiar with the milestones
Before using the checklist, become familiar with the behaviors and milestones to look out for in the child at the appropriate age list. Doing so may help you look out for particular behaviors, giving you insight into the child’s development.
Step 3: Introduce the checklist
Introduce the checklist to parents and caregivers within initial wellness or developmental visits for pediatric patients. Explain how it works and the importance of documenting these developmental milestones.
Step 3: Using the checklist
Once caregivers are familiar with the checklist, they may notice the child developing or expressing some of the behaviors on the list for their age group. Encourage them to tick off behaviors or any further progressions they notice on the document, which they may bring to the next visit.
Step 4: Document milestones
During the child’s wellness or development visit, ensure that you discuss any milestones or changes with caregivers, documenting these using your practice management software. Doing so will ensure a thorough and accurate patient record.
Step 5: Continue monitoring
Continue following the checklist as the child ages, and make note of any new developments or changes. Additionally, if caregivers express any concerns about certain behaviors or lack of development, make sure to address these concerns by completing appropriate screening procedures where required.
CDC Milestone Checklist example (sample)
We have created an example using a fictional child to demonstrate how to use a CDC Milestone Checklist PDF practically. This example uses the steps in our previous ‘How to’ section to document the milestones of a child who is 18 months of age.
It is advised to refer to this to understand how the checklist may be used; however, please consider that this is just an example that should not be used in comparison with another child’s development. If you are feeling concerned about your child’s development, it is essential to consult with your child’s doctor.
When would you use this Template?
The following are some ways in which the CDC Milestone Checklist Template can be used:
A CDC Milestone Checklist Template can be applied by health practitioners, such as pediatric doctors or nurses, as a form of clinical documentation to track the child’s developmental history. Keeping an accurate record of the child’s milestones also allows parents to voice their concerns and discuss these with the pediatrician during wellness or developmental visits (Zubler & Whitaker, 2022).
Education for parents
For new parents who are still learning about their child and what signs to look for, this checklist can provide information and reassurance about their child’s development.
Wellness visit reminders
The checklist reminds parents and caregivers when the child is due for a wellness visit or developmental screening. These screenings are necessary for screening conditions such as autism in toddlers, which are necessary for the child’s well-being and preparing parents.
Early detection of developmental disorders
A CDC Milestone Checklist may identify developmental differences between the child, and the expected developmental milestones for their age group. Parents or pediatricians may notice something within the child that may place them at a higher risk of developmental disabilities and complete screening procedures and developmental-behavioral evaluations. This allows for early identification and intervention that may hold better outcomes for the child.
What do the results mean?
Results using our free CDC Milestone Checklist Template are multi-faceted and may differ according to several factors. These may include the child’s genetics, experiences and environment. Here are some common results using this resource and what they may mean for the child and those around them:
Parents and pediatricians may observe that the child is following along with the milestones for their age group as they grow. With continued wellness and developmental visits when recommended, the child will likely continue developing regularly for their age bracket.
When using the checklist and observing their children, parents or caregivers may find their children are not quite demonstrating all of the developmental milestones for their age group.
In this instance, it is important to consider that not all milestones may happen at once; some may take longer to develop than others. If this is the case, record what you observe, and you may find it beneficial to discuss this with your child’s doctor at your next appointment.
There may be instances where a child is developing differently from other children of their age, which may be a sign of developmental difficulties or disorders. In this case, caregivers need to discuss their concerns with their child’s doctor, who may recommend completing a developmental screening such as one for autism.
This may lead to early detection of a developmental disorder, which is essential for informing parents and treatment procedures.
Why use Carepatron as your CDC Milestone Checklist app?
At Carepatron, our mission is to provide practical solutions that enhance your practice, and support better client outcomes. By using our CDC Milestone Checklist app and software provides reliable general practice management software that helps health practitioners support the needs of their pediatric patients, and their caregivers. Here are some reasons explaining why Carepatron is the ideal platform for you:
As an online platform, Carepatron provides mobile access to thousands of resources like the CDC Milestone Checklist, which are essential for effective practice. This allows health practitioners, pediatric patients, and caregivers to access relevant information and documentation from anywhere.
With ongoing clinical documentation, our software allows health practitioners to organize all patient records, medical history, and developmental milestones in one place. Having a secure, accessible way to manage patient documents is essential for tracking developments in children and informing screenings or interventions where appropriate.
With a user-friendly interface, our patient portal provides patients with easy access to the records and the information they require. This is most beneficial for parents on the go, as the CDC Milestone Checklist can be accessed using the portal, allowing them to track their child’s developmental progress.
Simplify and optimize this practice using Carepatron today!
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022). Developmental Milestone Checklist for WIC. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/FULL-LIST-CDC_LTSAE-Checklists2021_Eng_FNL2_508.pdfCDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.). Module 2: Understanding Children’s Developmental Milestones. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/watchmetraining/module2.html#:~:text=By%20tracking%20each%20child's%20developmental,judge%20if%20concern%20is%20warranted.&text=Developmental%20milestones%20fall%20into%20categories%20of%20development%20called%20domains.Cogswell, M. E., Coil E., Tian L. H., Tinker S. C., Ryerson A. B., Maenner, M. J., Rice, C. E., & Peacock, G. (2022). Health Needs and Use of Services Among Children with Developmental Disabilities - United States, 2014-2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 71(12), 453-458. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35324879/Mirsirliyan, S. S., Boehning, A. P., & Shar, M. (2023). Development Milestones. StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557518/#:~:text=They%20are%20used%20to%20help,motor%2C%20language%2C%20and%20cognitive.Zubler, J., & Whitaker, T. (2022). CDC’s Revised Developmental Milestone Checklist. American Family Physician, 106(4), 370-371. https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2022/1000/editorial-cdc-developmental-milestone-checklist.html