New app launches to support parents

Baby charity The Lullaby Trust has developed Baby Check, a free app that helps parents test their baby for different signs of illness and determine how unwell they are.

Featuring 19 simple symptom checks, the app calculates a final score that indicates the severity of the baby’s illness and advises parents whether they need to see a doctor.

Developed in partnership with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the app was piloted in 2015 with great success and is now recommended by a number of NHS Trusts. Baby Check has been redeveloped to make it even easier for parents to use and is now CE marked as a Class 1 medical device.

Responding to the launch, Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said:

“Having a baby can be an extremely anxious time for parents so any device that can help put their mind at ease may be incredibly useful – it could also help ease pressure on hospital services which we know are under immense strain. However, if parents are very worried about their baby, I would encourage them to seek medical help from their family doctor for example, to ensure that if their baby is indeed unwell, any illness is caught early.”

Baby Check was first developed as a result of a research project led by child health experts who analysed the signs and symptoms of illness in over 1,000 babies under six months of age. The 19 signs and symptoms now used in Baby Check were found to give the most accurate assessment.

Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust said:

“We have distributed the Baby Check booklet to parents for many years and have seen the reassurance it can provide to those whose baby is showing signs of illness.

"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 free app is a quick way of helping parents make an informed decision about whether their baby needs medical attention.”

The Baby Check app is available to download from Google Play and the App Store.