If your child is unwell, consult HANDi this winter

Doctors in Devon are reminding parents to consult the HANDi paediatric app if they aren’t sure what to do when their child is unwell.

The free app, available to download onto any Apple or Android device, was launched specifically with children in mind and is loaded with expert advice, support and guidance for parents with concerns about their children.

The easy-to-use app was designed with local paediatric consultants to provide clear, concise information for parents and carers.

It covers a range of common conditions such as high temperatures, chestiness, abdominal pain, headaches and rashes, which can cause concern to a parent or carer if they are not sure what to do.

The award-winning app asks a series of questions about the symptoms the child has and then advises the best course of action to take, whether to treat the condition at home, consult a pharmacist or GP, and if it is serious to head to the Emergency Department.

It has been specifically adapted to be suitable for people in Devon, directing users to their nearest hospital.

HANDi is updated regularly by qualified clinicians to provide the best advice and will ask users a series of short questions to identify their child’s condition, and then advise them what course of action to take.

Dr Maria Williams and Dr Melissa Lemon are two Plymouth-based GPs who are keen to share their knowledge as GPs, and experience as mums, to help support parents, guardians and caregivers with the uncertainly of looking after poorly children.  

They are sharing regular health updates and trusted information about common childhood illness, specifically respiratory illness, over the winter months on Facebook and Instagram, as well as at some face-to-face drop-in educational sessions for parents with Dr Melissa Lemon across Plymouth.  

Both Dr Williams and Dr Lemon are GPs at Pathfields Medical Centre in Plymouth. Dr Williams says: “As we get further into winter, we often see an increase in the number of contacts about children with cough and cold symptoms, as well as various viral illness, which are exceptionally common at this time of year.

“We are keen to share information to help people feel more comfortable about when to self-care and when to seek appropriate help, from the right setting, at the right time.”

Dr Lemon said: “We advise our patients to look at the HANDi paediatric app and the website www.what0-18.nhs.uk to find excellent information and guidance around childhood illness and links for physical and mental health issues.”

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