Your baby’s health record
All parents in France are familiar with their baby’s health record: the little booklet that is given to you on the birth of your child, in the maternity unit, at the town hall or at the mother-and-child welfare center
Everything about your child’s health Your child’s health record is their own medical database and will go with them to every doctor’s appointment from birth to adulthood. It is divided into seven sections and covers every aspect of their health: • The perinatal period: what happened during birth, the clinical examination done when they were born, any observations when they left the hospital, etc. • Long-term illnesses and allergies and valuable basic information in case of an emergency. • Medical check-ups from birth to 18, including in particular, the compulsory health checks that must be completed by a doctor within a week of the child’s birth, at nine months and at 24 months. • Growth charts showing how your child’s height and weight compare with the average figures for their age. • Oral and dental health: the results of the preventive check-ups recommended at age six and 12 are recorded in the booklet. • Admissions to hospital and radiological examinations. • And finally, vaccinations, recorded in a vaccination calendar that is valid as a certificate: just photocopy the pages if you need them, for example when enrolling your child in a daycare center or school. • Throughout the booklet, you will also find numerous pieces of advice and information on a wide variety of topics including diet, sleep, safety, what to do about various symptoms (such as fever, vomiting or difficulty breathing), teething, etc. Remember to have a look even if you are not going to the doctor’s! A professional tool... and a personal reminder Your child’s health record is intended primarily for healthcare professionals, to give them an instant overview of your child’s medical history. Keeping all your child’s information in one place is valuable as they will probably not always see the same doctor: between the paediatrician, the general practitioner, the dentist and sometimes hospital doctors or various specialists, they will be seen by numerous professionals who will be able to find all the essential information about them. Make sure you always take their health record with you when you take your child for an appointment, whoever they are seeing. You should also be aware that your child’s health record is covered by medical confidentiality and you cannot be asked to show it (except for the vaccination pages) by daycare centers, schools or leisure centers. Finally, for you, your child’s health record is a lovely reminder of their development, which you will no doubt want to keep even when they are grown up. Take the time to look through it with your child once they are four or five years old to chat about what you remember about their birth and early years but also to gently raise their awareness of the importance of taking care of their health.