Parent Focus: I've lost my baby's paper red book
Date: 04 March 2020
We understand how annoying it can be if you lose your paper red book so have put together this short guide to help you work out what to do if it happens to you.
How do I get a new paper red book?
If you lose your NHS paper red book and your child is still under 5 and you will need to ask for a replacement so that you can record future health review and immunisation information. Paper red book replacements are given out by your Health Visitor.
If you are unsure who runs your health visiting service or how to get in contact with them you should find this information available by searching for the name of your district or borough and the words "health visiting service" e.g. Dudley Health Visiting Service.
The eRedbook team can't help with replacements for the paper red book as they are printed by another company and issued by the NHS but we can help you create a digital record for the future that you can't lose again. Once you start collecting copies of the information together again, why not store it digitally in an eRedbook account?
My child is older - do I need to get a new one?
Even if your child is older, eventually at some point you will need the information that you recorded in your child's paper red book - for many this comes when they are asked to fill out forms so their children can start school, can go on school trips or eventually even go to university.
It is sensible to start to collect together your child's immunisation history again now so that when the time comes you have it all. It is easier to ask your GP for a record of something that happened a couple of years ago than it is a decade ago. It may also be very useful in an emergency if your child has an accident or becomes unwell - it can be hard to obtain this information rapidly so better to do it now.
Once you have collected the information together again, you don't have to store it in a new copy of the paper red book and will probably not have the option to as replacements are not handed out for older children.
Can I get an eRedbook instead?
You can sign up for an eRedbook no matter how old your child is and eRedbook is a great way of creating a record that you can't lose again. You can use eRedbook to create a copy of your child's record, uploading photos of their vaccinations and screening results.
If your baby was born recently and depending on where you live you may find that your health visiting service can connect your eRedbook to the NHS to receive any records of future immunisations etc. In some areas, including London, you may be able to get copies of the records that you have lost in your paper book. Your health visitor will be able to advise you on whether this is available in your area.
If your child is older then you can use the eRedbook to create a digital record by uploading any copies of your records that your GP or health visiting service are able to provide for you. As your child gets older still you can continue to add to the record - there is no age limit.
What to do as a parent if you lose your child's paper red book - and how an eRedbook can help.