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SaveHealth & Wellness 6 Must-Do Screenings for You and Your Family This Year

6 Must-Do Screenings for You and Your Family This Year

Planning out checkups and screenings can be challenging, but this checklist is a great start for you and your family to stay healthy in 2022.

6 Must-Do Screenings for You and Your Family This Year

Let’s get real for a minute: Most Americans aren’t great at getting their recommended preventive care. A 2018 study found that fewer than 1 in 10 adults over age 35 got all of the “highly recommended” screenings every year, and 1 in 20 didn’t get any of them. We're here to help make your life easier! Use this checklist to give you and your family a great start to a healthy 2022.

1. One checkup a year keeps everything clear

You've heard that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," but an annual checkup can provide you with perhaps even more health benefits than that daily apple. Every adult should see a primary care provider at least once a year for things like:

  • Blood pressure
  • Height/weight
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Recommended cancer screenings, such as breast or pelvic exams, and testicular exams

2. Kids need annual checkups, too 

Every child should also get a well-child check each year. Most parents schedule it around a child’s birthday with a primary care provider or pediatrician. But many children need health clearance to go back to school, so when your child gets older you can coordinate annual well-child checks with back-to-school checkups to get both done at the same time.

3. Get the boost you need

At your well-child checks, talk to the pediatrician about any recommended immunizations or booster shots. Public schools require specific immunizations to attend. You might get a list of required shots from your school as well. If you have questions about the vaccines, the reason your child needs them, and what it protects against, this is a great time to ask! 

Adults also need booster shots for certain immunizations. For example, most people get their first Tdap shot (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis/whooping cough) around 11 or 12 years old. Adults should get a booster every 10 years, or more often if they experience a severe burn or wound that is at risk of tetanus infection.

4. Skin checks (for sun worshippers and shade lovers alike)

Whether you spend a little too much time in the sun or you are a devoted sunscreen user, it’s important to get your skin checked each year. The doctor can look for suspicious moles or lesions, and conduct a biopsy or other test if they see something that looks out of the ordinary. Getting these screenings every year is particularly important because most people have at least a few moles or spots on their skin. Your doctor can review them each year, measuring and photographing them for reference, to see if they are changing.

5: Clean those pearly whites

It might surprise you to learn that your oral health (teeth and gums) plays a big role in your overall health. Keep your pearly whites nice and clean with regular visits. Most dentists recommend coming in at least once every 6 months for an exam and cleaning.

6: Preventive precautions as you age

As we age our risk of disease increases. Getting preventive screenings can help doctors treat conditions that could lead to more severe disease or a lower quality of life. Men and women should get a colonoscopy every 5 to 10 years starting at age 45, and bone density screenings (DEXA scans) starting at age 65. You should also ask about getting updated immunizations for pneumonia and shingles.