What is EPSDT and what does it mean?

Early – Finding problems early, starting at birth

Periodic – Checking children’s health at routine, age-appropriate times

Screening – Doing physical, mental, developmental, dental, hearing, vision and other screening tests to find possible problems

Diagnosis – Doing tests to follow up when something that may be a problem is found

Treatment – Treating the problems found

EPSDT is a set of guidelines that make sure children and adolescents can get the services needed to grow into healthy adults. These guidelines are put in place by the state of Maryland.

These important services include:

  • Physical Exam: Your child’s doctor will check your child’s body to make sure they are physically healthy.
  • Measurements: Your child’s doctor will measure their height, weight, and blood pressure. Other measurements like head size and body mass index are done at certain ages.
  • Vision and Hearing: Your child’s doctor will check for any problems that could lead to loss of eyesight or hearing.
  • Developmental Screenings: Your child’s doctor will check your child’s movement skills, speech, social development, mental health, and behavioral health.
  • Immunizations (shots): Your child’s doctor will give your child any shots they need. Your child needs many shots during their childhood to keep them protected from diseases.
  • Screenings: Your child’s doctor will check for health problems like lead poisoning and other conditions and diseases.

What is the difference between well child checkups and EPSDT?

A well child checkup is a visit to the doctor when your child is not sick. The doctor makes sure your child is growing and developing normally during a well child checkup. EPSDT is a list of what the doctor should be doing during the visit to make sure the child is growing and developing normally. The services that your child needs at a well child checkup will depend on their age.

What is your role as a parent?

Your role as a parent is to take your child to the doctor. Be prepared for each doctor’s visit. Your child’s doctor will ask you questions on how your child is sleeping, eating, developing and behaving. You should also know what health services your child needs at each doctor’s appointment.

What is the role of your child’s doctor?

Your child’s doctor should give your child the health services in the EPSDT guidelines for your child’s age. They will also ask you about your child’s health history and family history.

Click here for a list of EPSDT services that your child should get.


Take this quiz to see if you know what shots are needed for adults and children over 10 years old.


To see which shots your child should get, click on the links below.

0-6 years

7-18 years

Adults 19 years and older