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An app has been created to help parents make the decision as to whether their baby needs to see a doctor.
The app has been created by charity, The Lullaby Trust, who work to support bereaved families and offer advice on safer sleep for babies to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome. The charity worked with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, to create The Lullaby Trust Baby Check app.
The Baby Check app was the idea of a visiting team leader, Carroll Johnson-Chapman who was inspired by the Lullaby Trust booklet under the same name. She said: “As a health visitor, I am committed to giving every parent and child access to the same quality of information and support.
“I had done some training to help me support parents who had suffered the trauma of losing a baby to sudden infant death syndrome and were, quite understandably, very anxious with a second or subsequent child.
“As part of that support, I would give these parents the Lullaby Trust Baby Check booklet, which asks parents to go through some simple checks if they think their baby might have a serious illness."
Baby Check is the result of a four year development project analysing the signs and symptoms of illness in more than 1,000 babies aged under six-months-old.
All signs and symptoms of illness were analysed to find a combination which could be used to assess the severity of a baby’s illness with the greatest level of accuracy. Nineteen signs and symptoms are used in Baby Check to offer an accurate assessment.
Ms Johnson-Chapman added: “Those 19 quick checks together help parents reach a clear assessment on whether they need to speak to their doctor, health visitor or midwife or whether the baby needs to be seen urgently.
“I thought it was such an excellent way to assess a baby’s health and make an informed decision over accessing healthcare that it should be available to all parents. That’s when I had the idea of developing the concept into an app.”
The idea has been supported by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, who provided research and development support with NHS partners, Midtech during the development of the app which is now available on Google Play and the App Store.
Chief executive of The Lullaby Trust, Francine Bates, said: “We have distributed the Baby Check booklet for free for many years. Baby Check was developed from a four year project which analysed the signs and symptoms of illness in over 1,000 babies under six months of age.
“As a charity, we have limited resources to develop other channels for reaching parents and we are grateful to Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation for funding the development of the Baby Check app.
“This app will allow all parents to have access to Baby Check, enabling them to confidently decide whether or not their baby needs to see a doctor.”
For more information, or to download the app, visit: www.lullabytrust.org.uk/baby-check-app.