By Katherine D. McCleary, MD, family physician at Care New England

It’s that time of year again – with the summer air beginning to cool down the sounds of class bells ringing and school bus doors opening are now filling the air.

With your children back in school, now is a great time to do some yearly housekeeping; including making sure everyone in the family has had their yearly physical.

Yearly wellness visits for children are particularly critical, as it is a time for their provider to make sure they are ready and well to start the school year. At your child’s physical, your provider will make sure their immunizations and screening tests are up to date, as well as make sure they are healthy enough to play sports.

But children aren’t the only ones who should be getting that yearly check-up. While you’re at it, parents also benefit from a yearly visit for hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol screening, as well as to assess overall wellness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life.

This is a good time to talk to your doctor about improving your health (i.e. quitting smoking, losing weight, or starting a new exercise regimen).

Healthy children need healthy parents. And yearly physicals help keep the whole family on track.

The best place to go for your annual physical is your regular health care provider. If you do not currently have one, Care New England Medical Group primary care providers are now accepting new patients at locations across Rhode Island, including Coventry, East Greenwich, Lincoln, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick and West Warwick. Our care includes both physical and behavioral health issues, ranging from colds and flus, to birth control, hypertension, diabetes, and mental health difficulties. In addition to diagnosing and treating any illnesses that arise, we also emphasize preventive care, including routine check-ups, health screenings, and immunizations.

For more information about choosing a primary care provider or to make an appointment, please call (401) 736-4257 or visit carenewengland.org/services/primary-care.