Child health care providers spend a large portion of their time practicing preventive medicine. This includes screening, providing anticipatory guidance and counseling, and, less commonly, prescribing preventive medications. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes recommendations on the basis of a systematic evaluation of scientific evidence that assesses the impact of clinical preventive services on child health, taking into account both the benefits and harms of preventive services. The USPSTF does not use expert opinion or clinical judgement when developing recommendations.

Because the USPSTF follows a strict evidence-based approach, it frequently finds insufficient evidence to support preventive services. The USPSTF issues “I statements” when it judges the scientific evidence underlying a preventive service to be insufficient to assess the overall balance of benefits and harms. An I statement does not signify that the preventive service is...

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