CDC Act Early homepage screenshot

Editor’s Pick – “Act Early,” from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

By HWN Editorial Staff | 7/6/18

Are you worried your child isn’t developing on schedule?

You may want to check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Act Early” resource center. This page of the CDC website helps parents and caregivers compare their child’s mental, emotional, and physical growth against current medical guidelines.

The CDC states that “from birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves.” This section allows visitors to see those important milestones for babies aged 2 months up through age 5, all in one place.

Features and Highlights

Among the site’s free resources, readers will find:

  Common development milestones organized by age

  Videos and interactive books

  A customizable growth chart

  Training for early care and healthcare providers

  A mobile app for tracking activities like crawling or waving “bye bye”

What Our Editors Liked

The CDC promotes early intervention, or identifying and supporting developmental delays early in life. Practicing early intervention as soon as possible, the website states, helps your child “improve their abilities and learn new skills.”

In the event that early intervention is needed, the website helpfully provides state-specific contacts for accessing early intervention services and emotional support.

Each milestone is also accompanied by instructive images and videos. And for concerned parents, the website spells out when a doctor’s advice might be needed. That way you will know when it is, and isn’t, necessary to schedule an appointment.

By giving parents guidance on how their child is expected to develop, this site serves as a helpful roadmap for when and how to talk to doctors and school officials when children aren’t meeting important development milestones.

Educators and early care providers will find this website useful too, especially the site’s free continuing education training course “Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns”. There’s even a subsection for healthcare professionals offering an autism case training continuing education course.

The Bottom Line

The CDC’s “Act Early” page is a great resource for parents, caregivers, educators, and healthcare professionals. Visitors who want to learn how to recognize the signs of typical childhood development — or find help if a child isn’t meeting those milestones — won’t be disappointed.

Read our full review of the CDC’s “Healthy Living” section to find out why our editors find it trustworthy.

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