Following your child’s journey – why is tracking child health milestones important?

Taking your baby to the doctor regularly is one way of checking on the development of your baby, but the reality is that doctors have a lot to cover in a short appointment and may not be able to do a detailed assessment, every single time.

As a part of a parent network, it’s easy to compare what your baby or toddler is doing in comparison to other children. But babies are all so different, and one baby might start talking earlier but prefers to sit and observe, while another baby might start walking earlier but is quieter. While we celebrate the differences between babies, parents want to be assured that their baby is having a healthy development.  

Taking your baby to the doctor regularly is one way of checking on the development of your baby, but the reality is that doctors have a lot to cover in a short appointment and may not be able to do a detailed assessment, every single time 

Additional to that, most doctors rely in part on parents raising concerns and many parents, especially first-time parents, may not know what they should be tracking.  

Why is tracking so important?

How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves offers important clues. Reaching milestones at the typical ages can indicate a healthy development, as expected. 

Understand your child better 

Tracking enables you to know what your child is good at and what they need additional help with. Tracking gives you an overall guide of your child’s growth and development. 

Early diagnoses can mean early interventions 

Insights from tracking milestones will help child healthcare providers identify and monitor developmental problems in the early stages, so they can initiate appropriate treatment plans.  

In New Zealand, we track development achievements using 30 milestones, which include physical, cognitive, social and emotional and communication milestones. The milestones are measured and tracked by many different organisations that cannot easily share information. 

Ensuring every child receives universal healthcare services

Orion Health’s National Child Health Information Platform (NCHIP) is a national child health information platform that tracks 30 developmental milestones for children aged between 0-6 years old. The platform has around 150,000 children currently enrolled in the Northern Region with 4.5 million milestones being monitored. 

All children are automatically enrolled into the platform via the Maternity File or National Health Index feed. So, parents can rest assured their child is being tracked and monitored for healthy development. 

NCHIP is a cloud-first platform, meaning children that move between regions can still be tracked, without having to repeatedly share their details or risk losing contact with their child healthcare providers. 

Want to know more about how NCHIP?

This blog is the second in our series on child milestone tracking. Our next blog explores what a national child health platform can mean for New Zealand.

Read our previous blog on mapping your child’s journey with milestones