Do you meticulously fill in every page of your child’s baby book or at least wish that you took the time to? Do you carefully curate every childhood accomplishment, from their first soccer goal to their science fair awards? Even if you document every detail of your child’s life and milestones, you might be missing out on tracking crucial information that your children will use time and again in the future – their health history and details. So why exactly do you need one more book to keep track of? Health journals are a valuable tool in managing your child’s health and maintaining their wellness. Here we cover ten reasons why you need one for each of your children.
- 1. Create a historical record of your child’s health. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many of us don’t know the medical details of our childhood. Providing these details to our children is invaluable and builds a solid foundation for their medical future.
- Establish a baseline. If your child is relatively healthy, their journal will reflect that. If they are prone to seasonal illness, you’ll see those trends in your documentation. Either way, it will be easier to determine if your child’s next illness is routine or something to be concerned about.
- Keep your kids straight. When your kids are on their fifth round of antibiotics for another ear infection, the details of who took what and when will likely slip your mind if they aren’t documented.
- Give better details to your child’s doctor, which leads to better care. With a health journal, you can recall exactly what triggered your child’s latest asthma attack without racking your brain for the spotty details.
- Early tracking means early diagnosis. Since your child’s journal is essentially their health baseline, you’ll immediately know if something is wrong. The sooner you catch symptoms, the sooner you can pursue a diagnosis and establish a treatment plan.
- Prevent medical errors. In a medical emergency, we often forget important medical details like allergies to medications. Documenting allergies and other pertinent information will help your child’s medical team to prevent potentially life-threatening medical errors.
- Give your children a complete family medical history. We always assume we have all the time in the world to ask our parents about their parents’ health history, but few of us ever do. Is there a history of breast cancer in your family? Diabetes? Your child (and their doctor) will definitely want to know these details as they grow.
- Know that your child’s health history is accessible to other caregivers. When you have a complete medical record at hand, you’ll know that everyone from grandparents to babysitters are well prepared to care for you child.
- Change doctors and maintain your continuity of care. People move. They change doctors, or they are referred to specialists. Your child’s journal will provide important details for their new doctor immediately – even if the records haven’t been transferred from one office to another just yet.
- Track symptoms and flare-ups for existing conditions. Does your child suffer from raging allergies, but you struggle to pinpoint the trigger? Is your child’s current medication schedule simply not working anymore? Track their symptoms and you’ll easily spot where changes should be made (with your doctor’s approval).
Ready to start tracking your child’s health? Get started here.
*This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.
Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
The views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other institution with which the authors are affiliated.