For every baby born in New South Wales, the parents are given a Personal Health Record – better known as a ‘Blue Book’ - but has yours found its way to the back of the cupboard? Sydney Local Health District’s Child and Family Health Nurse Kim Dunlop explains why it’s important to use them.
“The blue books are a really good guide to child development and where children are sitting overall.” says Ms Dunlop.
“A lot of parents look at them for weight and height, but the books look at all development, so if there are any warning signs early on we can pick them up.”
For first time parents especially, the books are a good guide to what your child should be doing and when.
“If you fill out the book at home, there are questions looking at what the child should be achieving. This can help you recognise if you should be making an appointment with a child and family health nurse, to look at what’s going on.”
If necessary, this can lead to follow up appointments with our other health professionals. For example a physiotherapist if a baby is having trouble crawling or an occupational therapist if a child has fallen behind with the basics for school readiness.
For parents who followed the blue book checks in the early days, then let it slip, Ms Dunlop says that’s ok – you can always come back!
“As long as your child is under the age of five, we are happy to see them and do an assessment to look at their overall development”.The Blue Book is also available online in other 18 languages. Click here to find out more
To organise a child development check, call the Child Health Information Link on 9562 5400 or contact your local GP.