Scottish Government
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National child health records launched

An Edinburgh baby has become one of the first in Scotland to benefit from a new national child health record.

Stockbridge couple Andrew and Allyson Naperotic, parents of Caelan Ross, were today handed one of the country's first 'Red Books' - the new Personal Child Health Record introduced for babies born throughout Scotland from January 1, 2010. The book is used by parents to keep a handy record of their child's health, with details such as immunisations, growth patterns and details of routine reviews.

The book replaces a series of different local versions with a single national edition and includes another first for Scotland - World Health Organisation growth charts developed for use in the UK by a Scottish academic, which use breastfed and not bottle-fed babies' growth as the norm.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison sat in on Caelan's 10-day check-up at home in Edinburgh today, when his parents received their Red Book from health visitor Mary Andrew.

Ms Robison said:

"The national Red Book replaces a series of different local health records for children that varied across the country and Caelan is one of the first babies in Scotland to benefit.

"Having a national standard means children benefit from better information sharing between GP and hospital care, or if they move from one health board area to another. The books also provide mums and dads with guidance on what to expect as their baby develops.

"In another first for Scotland, the Red Book's growth charts - used to measure a child's development - are based on babies who have been breastfed and not bottle-fed. Including the World Health Organisation growth charts in our new national child record book is another valuable reminder that breast is best for babies."

Scottish academic Professor Charlotte Wright, from Glasgow University, led the Royal College of Paediatrics team who developed the World Health Organisation growth charts for use in the UK.

She said:

"The new charts now tell us how all healthy children should grow and should provide helpful guidance and reassurance for parents.

"We had a lot of help from staff and parents in Scotland in designing the charts so it is good to see that now they will be in use throughout Scotland and further afield."

The new World Health Organisation growth charts offer an average growth pattern for babies, based on the typical growth of a breastfed child. These replace charts based on a bottle-fed baby's growth, which can be significantly different.

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