As summer starts to wind down, our thoughts turn to getting into a fall routine. Whether that means getting ready to go back to school or returning to work after a vacation, this is the time of year when we start to get organized for the coming season.
When you’re scheduling appointments for haircuts and shopping for school supplies, don’t forget to make time for something else that’s important: preventive care for yourself and your family. While seeing your doctor when you’re feeling healthy may not be at the top of your priority list, it’s important. Preventive screenings and routine appointments are uniquely designed to catch problems early on, before they get serious.
As you start to transition into your fall routine, keep these facts in mind:
- Children need a physical exam every year. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 3 to 21 have annual physical exams. Children’s bodies grow and change quickly – preventive visits ensure your child is achieving developmental milestones and is up to date on immunizations.
- The earlier you take your children in, the better. Treating your child’s annual exam as a back-to-school visit will not only give you peace of mind as summer ends, but it will give you an opportunity to address any concerns you have before the school year begins.
- Routine screenings are vital for adults as well. There are many preventive care services that can help keep you healthy, such as cholesterol screenings, blood pressure checks, and mammograms. Check to see what’s recommended for your age. Not all tests and checkups are necessary every year, but you should always make sure you’re up to date.
- Don’t get behind on vaccinations. Vaccines can help you avoid preventable illnesses and protect people who can’t protect themselves, like older adults and infants. Fall is the time to ensure your family is protected against influenza.
If you have children heading back to school this fall, here are a few tips for a smooth transition:
- If your children have allergies or need to take medication at school, make sure the school staff is aware. They may need you to fill out some forms for their records.
- Ease your children back into a sleep schedule before school starts. Starting a week or so before school begins, have them go to bed and get up a little earlier each day. That way, the first day of school won’t be such a shock.
- Help minimize back to school stress by allowing plenty of time in the morning to get dressed and eat a healthy breakfast without rushing. Little ones especially will need extra time to get ready.
Heading into fall doesn’t have to be stressful. Schedule your preventive care appointments now for a smooth transition.
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