Health advice app gives parents confidence in dealing with child illnesses

(Last Updated On: August 17, 2020)

An app has been launched for families in Torbay and South Devon, giving advice on common childhood conditions.

The NHS HANDi Paediatric app helps give parents the confidence in dealing with more minor conditions with advice from child health professionals at their fingertips.

The app gives up-to-date advice on parents’ smart phones on how to treat minor conditions including information about when and how to ask for help, along with what to expect when their child is being assessed by a doctor or nurse.

The app has been developed by paediatric consultants and provides access to home care plans, as well as GP and hospital clinical guidelines, for the most common childhood health care conditions, such as:

Diarrhoea and vomiting

‘Chesty baby’ illnesses, such as bronchiolitis, asthma and croup

‘Chesty child’ illnesses, such as wheezing and asthma

High temperature

Abdominal pain

Common new-born problems

Dr Jonny Graham, the Lead Children’s Doctor at Torbay Hospital which is run by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Parents generally don’t want to take their children to hospital unless it’s absolutely necessary – but sometimes they end up there because they are not sure what else to do.

“It can be worrying for children and parents to go to hospital. So, we hope having trusted advice readily available on their phones will help give them confidence to take the right actions and avoid a hospital visit.”

HANDi gives parents information to enable them to help their children at home.

Dr Matthew Fox, GP at Barton Surgery in Dawlish, said: “More and more people are using their phones and computers to find on-line sources of medical advice to save them time and stress, so it is especially important they can access the right professional sources like this NHS HANDi app. If your child is unwell and you aren’t sure where to go, consult HANDi for advice.’’
HANDi is updated regularly by qualified clinicians to provide the best advice and parents are guided through a series of questions on the app about the symptoms their child is experiencing. The app then advises on the best course of action, whether that’s to treat at home, to make a GP appointment, or to head to the Emergency Department.

It has been specifically adapted to give local information, directing users to their nearest hospital if required. Developed by NHS organisations in Devon, including Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, the HANDi Paediatric app is available to download for free onto any Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.

A short film explaining how to use the HANDi Paediatric app is available here.

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