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Personal child health records, held by the parents, have potential advantages in times of civil disorder. Via health and community workers, 939 booklets (incorporating health records and health advice) were distributed to displaced and other families near Tuzla. Subsequently mothers were invited to bring their children for examination. Five hundred and seventy-one children with their booklets returned to the clinics. The survey revealed high rates of dental caries (305 cases), anaemia (36), and scabies (20). The war had not affected the duration of breast feeding, and the children's nutrition was generally satisfactory. Immunization status was generally good, though rates were unacceptably low in children from certain areas, reflecting not only deficient provision in their place of origin but also failings in the programme for displaced persons. An informal survey indicated that parents and older children appreciated the health-information content of the booklet. In a disaster of this sort, the personal child health record and advice booklet serves the combined purpose of yielding essential epidemiological data, providing a permanent health record, and meeting a need for health education material.