You'll also want to keep surgical records, insurance information and a running list of questions you might have for your medical team. One of the most important things you should keep is a current list of your child’s health care providers, along with their addresses and phone numbers.

Make Copies of Everything

When it comes to keeping medical records, one of the best rules to abide by is to make several copies of everything. Throughout your child’s life, you'll be asked to provide copies of records for various reasons, especially as they grow and become more involved in activities such as church, sports, theater or volunteering. While you can always request copies from providers when you need them, Smith discourages repeated requests to obtain records.

“There are usually charges for obtaining copies of records,” she says. “It can get quite expensive. Keeping copies saves the time and expense of going to and from the doctor’s office every time you need a copy.”

Smith also suggests storing these copies in a secure place like a fireproof safe. Better yet, scan them into the computer, burn them onto a CD and store it in a secure place. If your child spends a lot of time at a relative’s or friend’s house, make a version of the binder for the person in charge there, and include a medical emergency permission form. Any time you aren't accessible and someone else is responsible for your child, you'll need a signed permission form to permit medical treatment for your child in case of an emergency.

Stick With It

To avoid document pile-up, try to take time once or twice a week to copy and file any new paperwork. Doing a little bit of filing at a time makes it easier and making organization a habit will make it less time-consuming. 

“Keep up with your records on a regular basis so that it doesn’t become an overwhelming task,” Smith says. “It just makes life easier for you and your child.”