Questions frequently asked by parent educators are “Why do we need to have families complete the Child Health Record ?” and, “When does it need to be updated?”
While parent educators do not perform medical screenings, they do gather and maintain information on each enrolled child’s health status and medical care to develop a full picture of the whole child. The Child Health Record is used to document a comprehensive review of the child’s hearing, vision, and general health.
Together with child developmental screening results and the Foundational Curriculum parent educator resources, the information and discussions generated by the health review:
The Child Health Record has four main sections: pregnancy history (including prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum); health review (including medical visits and conditions, dental, and safety); hearing review; and vision review. When gathering data, approach the topics and questions in a friendly, conversational manner using the prompts provided in the record. This can help keep parents at ease. Parent educators can also supply parent handouts on various health topics they are discussing. Information should be recorded for all items within each section. “None” can be entered for any concerns or abnormalities that don’t apply. For programs that collaborate with another agency or with multiple resources for hearing or vision screenings, it is crucial that a parent signs a release such as the Permission to Exchange Information. It should include specific details on what information about a child or family will be exchanged. The release form should be updated each year and a copy kept on file.
A child’s health and wellness is important to the cognitive, emotional and physical development of a child. The information collected in the Child Health Record can help parent educators determine some of the topic areas to be discussed on a personal visit, set health-related goals, and identify needed resource connections.
Compliance with well-child visits, up-to-date immunizations, child health delays or concerns identified, safe sleeping habits, and prenatal care are outcomes that are important ways to demonstrate the program’s impact on the health of children being served and possibly impact the child’s school readiness.
All children enrolled in FACE must have a completed the Child Health Record and update as necessary.