A child’s immune system is exposed to numerous germs every day. While babies are born with antibodies that offer protection against some diseases, the protection is temporary. Vaccines given from birth to age six help protect kids from viruses and bacteria that cause serious diseases. Many of these diseases are uncommon in the United States because vaccines are doing their job. During well-child visits, talk to your pediatrician about the recommended immunizations for children.
Annual checkups are essential to your ongoing health. Even if you feel well, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor once a year. If your doctor gets to know you when you’re healthy, you are more likely to receive better care if you get sick. A checkup, sometimes called a physical exam, is also the perfect time to ask questions about your health and discuss changes you can make for a healthier lifestyle. Here are six reasons to schedule your annual checkup today.
Shingles is a common viral infection that causes a painful skin rash. Although it isn’t life-threatening, it can be very painful and last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. In the United States, healthcare providers diagnose more than 200,000 cases of shingles each year. The good news is that a widely available vaccine can help reduce the risk of developing shingles.
Viruses are spread in many different ways, including through close contact between people and through droplets in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Some viruses can live on surfaces for 24 hours or longer. We can accidentally spread these infectious agents by touching doorknobs, railings, mobile devices, surfaces, and other items. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to prevent the spread of viruses and avoid contagious diseases.
Preventive health care can help us stay healthy. That’s why doctors recommend annual physicals for adults. Pediatricians recommend well-child checkups for kids and teens because prevention is particularly important for young people. Regular exams and tests are an effective way to track your child’s health and development. And, catching health issues early can increase the chances of finding a treatment or a cure.
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory infection that circulates around the world each year and usually hits the United States between October and May. The viruses that cause the flu are most often spread by coughing, sneezing, or close contact.
Anyone can get the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it tends to strike suddenly and can last for several days. Although it has some of the same symptoms as the common cold—a runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, and fatigue—the flu can lead to pneumonia, blood infections, or even death. Other symptoms of the flu include fever, body aches, headache, and chills.
Preventive health care includes services like doctor checkups and routine screenings that can help prevent diseases and other health problems. Taking advantage of your preventive care benefits can help you stay healthy and discover a health issue before it becomes a serious problem. Treatment is often more effective when an illness is detected early.
Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Melanoma is a cancer that usually begins in skin cells. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is less common than other types of skin cancer, but it’s more likely to grow and spread. While melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, if it’s caught and treated early, it is usually curable.