Summer is just about over and school is just around the corner. Schools across the country are preparing to open for the new school year, and you are likely running around buying school supplies, clothes, and whatever else your kids need to be ready. One more thing you need to add to you to-do list: schedule preventative care appointments for your kids.
Preventative care is extremely important for maintaining good health and catching any potential problems as early as possible — and seeing as seven in 10 deaths in the U.S. are caused by preventable diseases, going to yearly checkups is of the utmost importance. The school year gets so busy, and you typically don’t want your kids to miss school if they don’t have to, so these last few weeks of freedom are the perfect time to get in all of your family’s preventative checkups in.
Here are the three most important preventative health checkups to get your family before the school year starts:
When most people think of a yearly checkup, the annual wellness appointment is what comes to mind. This is certainly an important appointment to get as a wellness check will involve a full physical, checking out the heart, lungs, ears, blood pressure, and height and weight assessment. Depending on the age of the person getting the checkup, the wellness exam may also include vaccinations, blood work, and other, more in-depth tests as your provider deems necessary. At a checkup, a doctor will also be able to address any nutrition questions you have on how to help your family eat more healthfully.
If you don’t already have a family provider, it’s time to get one. It can be hard to find the right physician to trust your family’s health with, and with so many to choose from it’s difficult to narrow down your options.The best way to do this is to ask your family and friends for recommendations for a good family doctor or nurse practitioner. With recommendations you can hear first-hand accounts of what qualities good qualities a physician has from people you already trust.
Eye appointments often get neglected as the idea of going to one only seems to be brought up when someone is obviously having vision problems — whether your child is having trouble seeing the board at school or your spouse can’t quite see the street signs while driving. But eye checkups shouldn’t be put off until there is a problem. Yearly eye appointments are just as important as a wellness checkups for maintaining healthy eyes and catching potential issues — especially in this day and age where kids’ constant connection to technology is causing digital eye strain.
Eye checkups aren’t just for people who need vision correction. An eye exam will not only test for overall visual acuity — catching early reduced vision before it gets too bad — but will also look for unseen eye damage such as cataracts, retina damage, astigmatism, and can even catch brain tumors. This annual appointment is definitely one you don’t want to skip this summer.
Nobody likes going to the dentist. Sometimes it seems like the biannual teeth cleaning is closer to medieval torture than it is a beneficial preventative procedure. But despite the unpleasantness, seeing your dentist for an annual exam — and biannual cleaning — is vital your family’s overall healthcare. Should any problems arise such as cavities, you can rest assured that with regular checkups and cleanings, they will be addressed before they become a huge problem.
Dental care is actually more important than most people realize. Dental health is closely tied with other aspects of the body, and bad teeth can adversely affect your overall health. Tooth decay can cause heart damage, periodontal disease and tooth decay can lead to tooth loss, missing teeth can cause jaw degeneration and structural problems, misaligned teeth can cause jaw joint pain known as TMJ, and teeth grinding can cause a host of problems, so getting regular checkups to prevent and/or address problems is imperative. A good dental insurance will cover cleanings, checkups, and annual x-rays, and even those with Medicaid in certain states can get preventative dental care.
Preventative healthcare appointments may not sound like fun activities to your kids during their last weeks of freedom, but the importance of getting regular checkups for your eyes, teeth, and overall body can’t be ignored. Good health now means continued health and a long life with lots of freetime and summers to enjoy in the future, so get all those appointments scheduled now.