Any parent of multiple children can tell you that keeping track of their family’s medical history can be a challenge! Every time I am asked for a child’s birthdate, I have to pause and think, let alone their most recent weight and height! Back when I had one child, I could rattle off every state from the previous six months. Now? I know how big each of them was at birth…and that’s about it!
Technology simplifies keeping track of each family member’s personal health records. Just this morning I was filling out a form for a new doctor’s visit and I was able to refer to our electronic records to fill out my little one’s most recent height and weight. These days it seems that your entire life can be accessed from your mobile device and it only makes sense that your family’s health information should be just as accessible, especially in emergency situations. If you have more than one child, it can be difficult, for even the most diligent of moms, to keep track of each child’s detailed record of immunizations, allergies, etc. How many times have you looked at a bottle of acetaminophen and tried to remember if your child gets one teaspoon or one and a half teaspoons?
There are a few categories of health related apps that I would like to highlight:
- Medical Records
If you do a search on TheiPhoneMom.com for the terms “medical” or “health”, you will come up with numerous results. Most recently, we reviewed Microsoft Health Vault and Family Med Track. Both of these apps allow you to store a complete medical history for multiple family members including medications, immunizations, health conditions, allergies and more. They each have unique functions, so be sure to read up on all that they can do. Medical record apps really allow you to have your full family medical history at your fingertips at all times making doctor’s visits much easier. My Kid’s Healthfeatures a great display to keep track of milestones in weight, height, head circumference as well as vaccinations, appointment, allergies and illnesses.
- Illness/Symptom Guides
Do you ever obsess over your children’s symptoms? A few days after one of my children’s friends had her appendix removed, one of my children had a stomachache. Who did I turn to? Dr. Google! Googling every symptom is not recommended by doctors as you can either miss important things that need treatment, or work yourself up into a panic over a simple virus. One great app for checking symptoms is the Merck Manual: Home Edition. It’s written simply and has been put together by hundreds of medical experts. iTriage is another symptom tracker app that was created by two emergency room physicians in order to help you figure out what you might be dealing with and where you should go to seek help. You can even connect this to your Microsoft Health Vault account. Finally, for an emergency situation Medlert 911+works as an emergency response app, connecting you quickly with those you have designated as your emergency contacts.
- CPR and First Aid
I am a strong believer in a hands-on CPR and first aid course for anyone who lives with or works with children. In an emergency, it is helpful to be trained so that your response is automatic. Some babies tend to gag and choke when eating solids and if you know how to quickly flip them over your arm and pat their back, you will be much more confident in facing these challenges! I have two apps in my “to be reviewed” folder that are waiting on a full write up. First Aid by American Red Crossis a comprehensive guide that takes you step by step through first aid and CPR responses to emergency situations. Pocket CPR focuses on CPR only and includes a training program that allows you to see if your rhythm is correct.
- Role Playing Games
Finally, for any kids who are apprehensive of doctors, role playing games can help prepare them for their next visit. Play Hospital is a cute game that walks kids through each step of a doctor visit.