child health record

Why Keep A Child Health Record Before You Need One

Well, I hope you are having a great week! Enjoying normal everyday activities. No mishaps in sight. Now would be the perfect time to put together a child health record for each of the kids, so that it’s ready when it’s needed.

We never know what exactly is ahead of us, do we? We’re cruising along through the day, then Bam! Your active kid decides to see just how indestructible God really made him.

Jumped off of something he shouldn’t have been standing on in the first place, landing on something hard. Or sharp. Or running left, looking right, and-OOPS, that had to hurt! Or “Mommy, my head (stomach…) hurts” and your child is looking a little green around the gills.

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Quick Look

Proactive Child Health Record Keeping

As mothers, we often have an overactive protection instinct, and jump straight to the worst-case scenario. Or on the other end of the spectrum just say, “Aww, you’re fine” and move on.

Now, I suggest we become proactive in knowing what our own child’s normal is, on some key numbers. That way, we have more confidence in making this call when the time comes. Keeping a simple child health record can bring peace of mind in the moment, and confidence in making the decision, either to reassure them that they can brush themselves off and keep going, or addressing the injury more professionally.

Do YOU Notice Normal?

Do you ever check his temperature on a normal healthy week?  Not everyone has the same average. How do you know they have a fever if you’re not sure what normal is? I personally ran 97.6 growing up, so we had to take that into account.

Have you checked out her typical resting heartbeat? Web MD has a big range for normal (70-120 for kids age 1-10). When she is sick, and you are concerned about how fast (or slow) her heart is beating when you rest your hand on her chest, do you have anything to compare it to? Do you know what it is when she is sitting on the couch relaxing? When she’s just finished a good game of tag?

How about pupil dilation rates? He ran into the table. It’s just at head height. Now you’re sure his eyes are too dilated And he must have a concussion. But have you looked at his eyes, on a good day, outside at noon? Inside at 3 pm? What about at 8 pm when he’s sleepy, and you only have one 40 watt lamp on, across the room?  What is normal? You look at him 2 million times a day, but do you take notice of these things? (my kids’ eyes are different size dilations even in the same lighting)

He walked into the table. You feel a bump on his head. Is it swollen, or is that just the shape?

Proactively Documenting Normal

I’m blessed to have family members living nearby who have medical training, and don’t mind calls and texts at odd hours, asking questions like: should I be concerned, or is this normal? But not everyone has that convenience. And I don’t want to take advantage.

A little forethought a couple of times a year could prevent a lot of stress. Now, I trust instincts, and God-promptings and by all means, please, if your child is hurt, or sick, seek professional assistance! I am NOT A DOCTOR and am NOT giving Medical Advice. But I would like to help you feel more confident in knowing what’s Normal, and what Isn’t.

Keeping your child's health record, proactively. Notice details and changes before they become a big deal

My Personal Child Health Record PDF

Now, you can buy a fancy child health record book like this one, if you want to track lots of info. But I’ve created a handy personal child health record pdf, free for you to use, to keep track of these important details. Making this as easy as possible is the best way to create solid habits.

Let’s try this. Pick a Day. Mark it on your calendar, set to repeat in 3-month intervals. Print off a couple of these worksheets, and let’s take some of the unnecessary stress out of our lives!

Things we track on the Child Health Record

Page one has some basic facts, such as medical problems (diagnoses, injuries, etc), allergies, and medications & supplements. The things that matter, that moms so often keep in our heads, but what happens when we’re suddenly unavailable? Having it all written down can really relieve stress from your husband, mom, or another caregiver.

Page two has space for a year’s worth of quarterly biometrics. Height and weight, temperature and pulse…

Breaths per minute: I put these (awake and asleep) because there are many things that affect your breathing, and kids are more sensitive than grownups. Things like essential oils, if you’re not educated on safety, it’s easy to overdo them. We had an incident with lavender that really scared me.

Pupil size: It would be helpful to pay attention to your child’s pupil size in relation to the iris at several different times of the day, with different lighting (indoors, outdoors, dim and bright lights) to be familiar with what’s normal. That way whether there’s a head injury, or other influence, you will feel more confident. Just add a checkmark here on your child health record, when you’re done observing.

Head shape: Being familiar with the odd bumps and curves of your child’s head can be a big advantage when they crash into something. You’ll know that they’ve always (or never) had a bump there. It’ll simplify your response processing.

Sleep habits: Are they a night owl or an early bird? Average number of hours per night? Do they need a nap to make it through the day cheerfully?

Energy level: Have they shown higher or lower energy levels lately? Did you just add extra to the schedule, or did they discover a new passion, maybe a sport or hobby? Or maybe they have changed their eating habits, or developed a new allergy you didn’t know about. Or maybe it’s something medical. But taking the time to think this one through quarterly, and adding notes to the child health record will give you the opportunity to notice changes over time, and be able to help.

Empty spaces: Maybe there’s a family concern or symptom you feel strongly about, that you want to track on your child health record. There’s a space for that too.

Making it Yours

So you have the idea, and you have the tools. Print out your own personal child health record, set a reminder on your calendar, whether you do it monthly or quarterly, and get started.

Here’s your free download. Peace be with you!

2 kids playing doctor. Why keep a child health record before you need it?

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