Children & Adolescents Clinic

 Home Parent's Guide

Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0

Important Family Records

There are a number of records which you need to keep for your baby.


Your baby's birth certificate is official proof of her date of birth and citizenship. The birth certificate is required to start school, to obtain a driver's license, or to apply for a passport. It may also be needed to prove the right to vote, marry, secure Social Security benefits, and even to inherit property.

The staff at the hospital where your baby is born routinely register the birth with the local health department or registrar of births. If you have a home birth, be sure someone is responsible for registering the birth.

You will receive official notification when the record of your baby's birth is filed. This notification is usually in the form of a copy of the registration or the birth certificate, and the information on it should be checked to make certain it is correct. Have any mistakes corrected immediately. A correction or addition usually involves obtaining an affidavit; call and find out before you make a trip to the health department.

HINT: It is a good idea to have several certificated copies of the birth certificate made, and to keep at least one in a safe place like a safety deposit box.


Accurate medical records are important for all members of the family. They are useful when you apply for health and life insurance and also help your physician diagnose possible family tendencies toward certain diseases.


Key parts of your baby's medical record include:

  • Precise dates of all immunizations (required for admission to school).
  • Allergies and other physical problems that require special medication.
  • Any injuries, including date and age when they happened and any treatment your child received.


In addition to your child's medical record, the family medical record should also include:

  • Family Tree Medical History: the dates and places of birth, medical history (diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure, etc.), and cause of death of all your close kin.
  • Immediate Family Medical History: all times the members of your immediate family have been in the hospital (when, where, what for, the name of your physician).
  • Any specific food or drug allergies of family members.


You should immediately obtain a Social Security number for your baby. Federal law requires that your child have a Social Security number by the age of 2 years. Your local Social Security office will mail you the proper application forms if you call and request them.

Written by Kate Capage.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems