Everyone should keep medical records organized and up-to-date. This is particularly true for parents of children with special health needs. My daughter visits a specialist at least four times a year, plus her regular well visits. Each time, we receive a detailed printout of her test scores, height and weight percentiles, and any other medical information for that visit. In addition, there are the numerous papers that we receive from the insurance companies and the pharmacy for each of her prescriptions (currently six). It adds up to a lot of paper. Without a system, it can quickly add up to a huge disaster.

Filing Cabinet

A filing cabinet is a perfect place to keep your child's medical records. With a few neatly labeled folders (i.e., prescriptions, insurance documents, test results), you can keep everything in order and hide it all away. Most filing cabinets have plenty of space to store everything - including prescription information, insurance coverage, and receipts for tax purposes. And don't think you're stuck with some metallic green eyesore. There are nicely finished wood cabinets available in a variety of price ranges.

Expandable File Folders

Expandable file folders are very handy. They have built-in folders that act just like a filing cabinet and they can be stored in a closet or even under a bed if you are short on space. The labels that come with them can be removed for an easy file makeover when necessary. They come in fun colors and are easily portable should you need to bring yours along for a hospital stay or doctor's appointment. You can pick them up at Staples, Office Depot, Target, or even The Christmas Tree Shop.


This is my new organization tool. I recently purchased the biggest binder I could find (for $1 at the grocery store!). I used manila folders to separate out sections for prescriptions, test results, etc. I also bought a three-hole punch so that when we receive the papers I can just punch the holes and put the paper in the right spot — newest ones on top. I never have to remove any of the papers, and therefore I don't run the risk of losing any of the papers. (I am highly skilled at losing things.) It is seriously my new best friend that hides right in the bookcase. Plus, I can just buy a new binder as the one fills up, or even start a new one every five years.

No matter which system you use, the key is to stay on top of the papers before the pile is big enough to fall on you. As soon as you have reviewed them, stick them exactly where they go and they will always be right where they are supposed to be, right when you need them.