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Your Child's Health "Book"

It's one thing to keep track of your child's milestones -- first smile, first step -- and quite another to stay on top of his medical information: last checkup, latest vaccination. But creating (and updating) a personal health record, or PHR, for your child will save you time -- and frustration -- when you need to fill out a back-to-school medical form or find yourself in the emergency room.

How to go about it? The simplest option is to buy a binder with dividers; choose an eye-catching color so you can grab it easily in an emergency. Create sections for important records and results, and ask for copies of these documents at each doctor visit. You can also download preprinted forms from the site Include the following, too:

  • Your child's name, birth date, and social security number

  • Specific data about his birth (weight, height, Apgar score)

  • Details about his growth and development (height, weight, etc.)

  • Contact information for all of his doctors, specialists, and dentist

  • Emergency contacts

  • Insurance information

  • Any medicines he takes, and dosages

  • Any allergies or other sensitivities

  • Any significant illnesses and/or surgical procedures he's had

  • Details about conditions that run in the family.