WEARSIDE MATTERS: Medical advice at your fingertips for parents

The NHS app.
The NHS app.
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Parents and carers can now find NHS advice at their fingertips to help you look after their children’s health.

Originally developed in Washington, the app has now been rolled out across the region aimed at people looking after young children, as well as those about to become parents.

The app gives easy to understand guidance on childhood illnesses, recognising when your child is unwell, and advice on when and where to seek further treatment.

The app, which is also available as a 114-page booklet, has been created by healthcare professionals across the region as part of the North East Urgent and Emergency Care Network.

Dr Siri Gautam, a consultant paediatrician and consultant in paediatric emergency medicine at City Hospitals Sunderland, said: “We know that when you are caring for your child, especially babies and the very young, you can feel worried when your child becomes unwell”

“You may worry that you do not have the knowledge or skills to deal with the problem or provide the right treatment.

“This new app, and booklet will help you understand common problems babies and children can have, work out the problem your child may have and show you how to care for your child, or how and who to seek help from.”

“This was initially developed in Washington so it’s already been tried and tested and has already proved to be popular in Sunderland.”

Dr Stewart Findlay, chair of the North East Urgent and Emergency Care Network said: “The app and booklet has been developed by NHS organisations working together to provide help and advice that can help parents and carers of children under five.

“The majority of common childhood illnesses can safely be dealt with at home but occasionally you may need to get professional help. The app and booklet will tell where you should go for the quickest and best help for your child.”

Jessica Bowen, a new mum from Newcastle, said: “I think we’re pretty lucky that we have this kind of information. In past generations people didn’t necessarily have such involvement from the health system – they relied on family.

“Nowadays we don’t always have the time to spend with family, and relatives might live in different places, so this kind of information is a real help.

“As a new mum, I think it’s aimed just right for me. It is clearly signposted, so you know how to find information easily, and I really like the advice from doctors and health visitors.

“I’d read the booklet when we first brought our baby home from hospital, then use the app to look up any symptoms or concerns later on.”

The booklet and app contains everything from oral health, upset tummies and diarrhoea to advice on bumps and bruises.

Anyone can download the app now, which is available on Google Play and the App Store by searching for NHS child health.