American Academy of Pediatrics Releases Second List of Commonly Used Tests and Treatments to Question

Group aims to encourage physician and patient conversations about five more tests, treatments and procedures.

CHICAGO—The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) today released a list of specific tests or procedures that are commonly ordered but not always necessary in the care of children as part of Choosing Wisely®, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation. The list identifies five targeted, evidence-based recommendations that can support conversations between patients and physicians about what care is really necessary. This is the second Choosing Wisely list from the AAP.

The new AAP list identifies the following five recommendations:

1. Don’t prescribe high-dose dexamethasone (0.5mg/kg per day) for the prevention or treatment of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in the pre-term infant.

2. Don’t perform screening panels for food allergies without previous consideration of medical history.

3. Avoid using acid blockers and motility agents such as metoclopramide (generic) for physiologic gastroesophageal reflux (GER) that is effortless, painless, and not affecting growth. 

4. Do not use medication in the so-called “happy-spitter.”Avoid the use of surveillance cultures for the screening and treatment of asymptomatic bacteruria.

5. Infant home apnea monitors should not be routinely used to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS.)

The AAP Choosing Wisely list was developed after months of careful consideration and review, using the most current evidence about management and treatment options. The full list gives more detail as to the reasons for taking a closer look at each test or treatment, and cites evidence related to each recommendation.

AAP President James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, said, “The AAP strongly supports partnerships and tools that improve the quality of care for patients. Pediatricians want the best possible tests and treatments for their patients, and they want them to be used appropriately. This is particularly important when treating children, because they are still growing and developing.”

Today the AAP also launches its online learning module for two items on its first list that was released in February 2013, which helps pediatricians with conversations about appropriate use of antibiotics and when to order CT scans for minor head injuries.

To date, nearly 100 national and state medical specialty societies, regional health collaboratives and consumer partners have joined the conversations about appropriate care. With the release of these new lists, the campaign will have covered more than 250 tests and procedures that the specialty society partners say are overused and inappropriate, and that physicians and patients should discuss.

According to Dr. Perrin, “Programs that help physicians and patients communicate are important for quality care. The Choosing Wisely campaign helps that conversation.”

The campaign also continues to reach millions of consumers nationwide through a stable of consumer and advocacy partners, led by Consumer Reports—the world’s largest independent product-testing organization—which has worked with the ABIM Foundation to distribute patient-friendly resources for consumers and physicians to engage in these important conversations. Choosing Wisely consumer partners include:

  • AARP
  • Alliance Health Networks
  • Midwest Business Group on Health
  • Minnesota Health Action Group
  • National Business Coalition on Health
  • National Business Group on Health
  • National Center for Farmworker Health
  • National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
  • National Partnership for Women & Families
  • Pacific Business Group on Health
  • SEIU
  • The Leapfrog Group
  • Union Plus
  • Wikipedia

To learn more about Choosing Wisely and to view the complete lists and additional detail about the recommendations and evidence supporting them, visit

About AAP: The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit

Contact: Gina Steiner
(847) 434-7945