Having a child: children’s and young people’s health

This section is organised into the following sections:

Access to healthcare

At the maternity clinic, the baby is registered in the Portuguese national health system, receives the children and young people’s health record [Boletim de Saúde Infantil e Juvenil], and is assigned the mother’s family doctor. During the first year of the baby’s life, routine appointments are more frequent.

The ‘heel prick test’ is done between the third and sixth day after the baby is born, at the maternity clinic, hospital or health centre. According to the National vaccination schedule, parents should take their babies along to their health centre for the BCG and hepatitis B vaccines, if the baby has not taken those vaccines at the maternity clinic.

Paediatric appointments

During the first year of a baby’s life, routine appointments with the paediatrician are frequent. After that age, they begin to be more spaced out.

Check the table below to find out when you should attend routine paediatric appointments.

Age Routine appointments
First year 1st week of life / 1 month / 2 months / 4 months / 6 months / 9 months
1 - 3 years 12 months / 15 months / 18 months / 2 years / 3 years
4 - 9 years old     4 years
5 years old - comprehensive medical examination to assess readiness for starting schooling
6 or 7 years old (at the end of the first year of school) - for early detection of specific learning difficulties
8 years
10 - 18 years 10 years old (when starting the second cycle of primary education) – to prepare for the onset of puberty and entry into the fifth year of schooling
12 or 13 years old - comprehensive medical examination
Between 15 and 18 years


Children and young people up to 18 years of age have access to free healthcare at Portugal’s National Health Service centres and hospitals, and are exempt from paying user charges.

Whenever a child attends an appointment (whether in the public or private system), they must have their children and young people’s health record [Boletim de Saúde Infantil e Juvenil]. This record contains the schedule of routine appointments, vaccinations, and information on the child’s development.

Records entered by health professionals are also available in the digital record on children and young people’s health, which is available in the Citizen’s Area of the National Health Service portal.

Oral health

Children’s oral health (mouth and teeth health) is important from the early years, in order to reduce the onset of oral diseases in infancy and childhood.

From the moment the first tooth appears, until the age of 3, it is recommended that parents help their children practise oral hygiene by using gauze, a finger stall or a soft brush over their teeth. From the age of 3, children should brush their teeth at least twice a day.

As a means of prevention and early treatment of oral diseases, dental vouchers are given to children and young people up until the age of 18, regardless of which school they attend.

Dental vouchers can be used for dental appointments anywhere in the country with dentists who are members of the National Oral Health Promotion Programme, which can be accessed through a national list.

There are different criteria for receiving the dental voucher, depending on the age of the child or young person:

Information updated on 16 August 2023