Being a mom to a busy toddler can be so hectic and at times, I find myself being grateful for my head being attached to my shoulders or else I may have forgotten where I put it, along with the blue sippy cup and TV remote. I am full of mom shame these days but recently, it was at its worse when I realized that Axl was 2 or 3 days from turning 19 months and I had completely forgotten to take him for his 18-month vaccination. Thankfully, the sister at our clinic reassured me that everything would be okay and I didn’t need to worry about causing an Ebola outbreak, just yet.
Calpol has recently introduced the ‘Calpol Moms helping hand’ app which helps parents keep track of their kid’s health. With my recent mom-shame, I decided that it would be a great opportunity to put the app to the test, in hopes of avoiding future faux pas.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you are given a brief tutorial which outlines what you can expect from the app and how to use it. From the word go, I found it incredibly easy to navigate as it follows a very similar layout to that of most Android apps.
I added Axl and set his birthday before setting a profile picture. I was pretty impressed that you are able to add numerous profiles, allowing you to monitor all your kiddies (good for when the flu takes your home by storm!) without having to exit the app. However, we just have one kiddo and thankfully so! Can you imagine me trying to navigate mommyhood with a newborn in my arms and my toddler dragging me through the candy aisle?
After adding Axl’s picture, I started playing around. The app opens up to a dosage table which is convenient for you to track how long it has been since you last took a temperature or administered medicine. When adding a temperature, the app is preprogramed to tell you whether a temperature is considered normal or dangerous. I really like this feature because there is nothing quite like the fear that you need to get to the ER but first need to google the “normal” temperature of a teething baby.
The dosage monitor allows for a full (5ml) dosage or a half (2,5ml) dosage which is the typical amounts for children, it also allows you to change the date and time. I found this feature exceptionally helpful, especially when I wasn’t one hundred percent sure whether I gave him his meds at 2am or 4am, because, well… I was half-asleep and just being a zombie mom. Just a tip, you need to actually remember to add each dosage! It would be rather rad if the app just sensed that you administered the medication at 2am but technology isn’t quite there yet, so we’ll just be blinded by the bright screen and add the info, ourselves. Don’t worry though, it isn’t a lengthy process and it took less than a minute to add his dosage.
Slide your thumb to the right and the app opens up its menu. Next on the list was the option named, “symptoms.” I guess this is the only part of the app which I felt could do with some improving. The aim of this section is to help identify what could be wrong with your child but you kind-of need to already know what illness your kid might have. You don’t have the option to type in a symptom and it pulls up results. Instead, you look through a list (sorted alphabetically) of some illnesses and conditions, click on the little plus next to it and the app will list the symptoms to look out for. This is great when you’re wanting to know what signs to keep an eye out for, when you suspect allergies or a tummy bug or even perhaps when you’re wondering if that bone is really broken. I think this section is especially great for when you go to the doctor and they diagnose your child without really explaining the illness, so you just end up sitting there, trying to figure out if the diagnosis means that the rainbow coloured poop is normal or if your kid really just ate a box of crayons that is consequently missing, too.
The immunisation section allows for you to monitor which vaccines your kids have had and which ones they still need to get. I really like this option for obvious reasons! Sitting at the doctors and wondering if they gave your little bean a Hep A or Hep B shot? Don’t worry! All that information is conveniently stored on your phone and allows you to access it whenever you need (especially when Sarah’s mom calls to say that her daughter has Chickenpox after yesterday’s playdate and just hopes your little boy had his shots!)
Last on the list and probably one of the best ideas that I have ever seen, is the “Emergency Room” option which allows you to search for the nearest ER to your location. All of the hospital’s relevant information is displayed on a map, including their contact number. While I already know the nearest ER to my home, I thought this is such a clever idea and great for when you’re out of town and you’re not familiar with the area. No more fumbling for contact info or directions when it’s all on your phone and can be found in the same place where you recorded your child’s high fevers for the last 6 hours.
Calpol’s app is easy enough for every mom to make use of, even if you usually struggle with technology. It is very much like a nappy bag as it packs all the necessary information that you can end up needing at 2am. It is convenient, smart and every bit worth the download!
*Please not that this app does not replace a medical doctor’s advice but merely is a guideline. Please seek the advice of your doctor if your child’s symptoms persist.
**This app does not take the place of your clinic card, it is merely in addition to it and a helpful, convenient tool