Kangaroo Island maternity team to recreate children's health and development books lost in bushfires

Milo Boulden (age 1), mum Brooke Boulden, Harley Boulden (age 3) check out their blue book with KI Maternity Care Team Leader Deb Schwerdt.

Milo Boulden (age 1), mum Brooke Boulden, Harley Boulden (age 3) check out their blue book with KI Maternity Care Team Leader Deb Schwerdt.

The recent bushfires on Kangaroo Island were devastating for the local community, with more than 48 per cent of the island burnt and countless homes lost.

As part of the ongoing recovery efforts, a project has now been started by Kangaroo Island Health Service Maternity Care team leader Deb Schwerdt to recreate child's health and development books for families who lost theirs in the fire.

These records are often referred to as a "blue book".

After many conversations with families in the community who lost their books, the need for this project was identified when the emotional significance of these books became clear, Ms Schwerdt said.

For many, this was the first thing they received after the birth of their child and it has significant sentimental value.

Each blue book consists of birth details, immunisations records, weight gains, height and any other relevant information, with each book taking a few weeks to gather the relevant information to recreate.

Some other special items that families may have lost in the fires, such as birth cards and baby name labels, are also being recreated as part of this project, to help bring back a small piece of what they lost.

"The recent bushfires on Kangaroo Island were devastating for the entire community and this is a small way we are able to give back to the families who have lost so much," Deb Schwerdt said.

"Blue books provide invaluable information for parents about their child's health and well-being, so by replacing it we hope to ease some of the stress for families during an already stressful time.

"Being a midwife in this small knit community has given me a unique ability to listen to what families' need the most during this difficult time and this is an important way we can help.

"I would like to thank my amazing team for their help and support for this project, and a special thanks to Evie Pratt from child and youth health who has gone above and beyond to get the data for these books."

Comments