Rourke Baby Record 2017: Clinical update for preventive care of children up to 5 years of age

Can Fam Physician. 2019 Mar;65(3):183-191.


Objective: To describe the process and evidence used to update preventive care recommendations in the 2017 Rourke Baby Record to assist primary care providers' decisions around which maneuvers to prioritize and implement in practice.

Quality of evidence: A search of the literature from June 2013 to June 2016 was conducted, using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) methodology to critically appraise primary research studies, and recommendations were changed where there was substantial support from the new literature.

Main message: The important changes in preventive care recommendations for children up to 5 years of age include the addition of body mass index monitoring as of 2 years of age; stronger evidence to support the introduction of allergenic foods without delay (strength of recommendation change from fair to good); the recommendation to ask validated questions regarding the effects of poverty; evidence showing no safe level of lead exposure in children; the recommendation of a daily sleep duration; the upgrade of recommendation strength from fair to good of items related to the prevention and detection of adverse childhood experiences, including assessment of bruising in babies younger than 9 months; and blood pressure monitoring only for children at risk.

Conclusion: Early childhood exposures and habits have short- and long-term health consequences. The Rourke Baby Record will continue to publish updates to ensure that primary care providers are equipped to promote lifelong health and well-being through evidence-informed care in young children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Child Development*
  • Child Health Services / standards*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Physical Examination / standards
  • Preventive Health Services / standards*
  • Reference Standards