The Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS) appreciates health professionals encouraging families to make use of the free ‘Purple Book’ appointments at eight weeks, four months, 12 months, and two years of age.
This ensures child and community health services reach and engage with as many families as possible. Currently by the 12-month mark, attendance at child health appointments drops to around 50% and 30% at two years.
A key function of child and family community health services is to identify early developmental delays, or health issues (both physical and socioemotional), refer into support services and positively influence the developing caregiver and infant/child relationship. Early engagement enables caregivers to receive guidance about ‘what to expect’ in a child’s behaviour, growth and development, as well as reducing the anxiety experienced by new parents and caregivers.
Community health nurses can also serve as a gateway to a range of other early childhood services such as the Child Development Service, parenting/carer education and support, primary health care, social support, and specialist health services.
Appointments can be made by phoning 1300 749 869 or through the CAHS website