What Is Bright Futures?
An IntroductIon to the Fourth edItIon oF
Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision
of Infants, Children, and Adolescents
Bright Futures is a set of principles, strategies,
and tools that are theory based, evidence driven,
and systems oriented that can be used to improve
the health and well-being of all children through
culturally appropriate interventions that address
their current and emerging health promotion needs
at the family, clinical practice, community, health
system, and policy levels.
Bright Futures
set of principles, strategies, and
The Bright Futures principles acknowledge the
value of each child, the importance of family, the
connection to community, and that children and
youth with special health care needs are children
first. These principles assist the health care profes-
sional in delivering, and the practice in supporting,
the highest quality health care for children and
their families.
Strategies drive practices and health care profes-
sionals to succeed in achieving professional excel-
lence. Bright Futures can assist pediatric health
care professionals in raising the bar of quality
health care for all of our children, through a
thoughtfully derived process that will allow them
to do their jobs well.
This book is the core of the Bright Futures tools for
practice. It is not intended to be a textbook, but a
compendium of guidelines, expert opinion, and
recommendations for health supervision visits.
Other available Bright Futures resources can be
found at https://brightfutures.aap.org. The Bright
Futures Tool and Resource Kit that accompanies this
book is designed to assist health care professionals
in planning and carrying out health supervision
visits. It contains numerous charts, forms, screen-
ing instruments, and other tools that increase
practice efficiency and efficacy.
are theory based, evidence
The rationale for a clinical decision can balance
evidence from research, clinical practice guidelines,
professional recommendations, or decision support
systems with expert opinion, experience, habit,
intuition, preferences, or values. Clinical or coun-
seling decisions and recommendations also can
be based on legislation (eg, seat belts), common
sense not likely to be studied experimentally
(eg, sunburn prevention), or relational evidence
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