When it comes to keeping your child happy and healthy, there are few resources parents can trust to provide accurate information. Penny Funk, pediatric clinical quality nurse with Marshfield Children’s, recommends three health apps for patients to help with milestones, physical activity and nutrition.
“Cellphones have given us many things, but these three apps can provide you with important information to help keep everything straight regarding your child’s health,” said Funk.
Three health apps Funk recommends include:
Developmental health: CDC’s Milestone Tracker App
Available in Apple App Store and Google Play Store, this app can track each of your child’s milestones from two months to five years. The app uses a checklist format that you can check off every time they complete a milestone in play, learning, moving, speaking and actions. The app even has photos and videos that show how the milestone should look.
The app also provides tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage development and things to do if you want to help your child along.
When talking with your doctor, you can get a summary of the milestones to share with your doctor through email or in-person. The app even reminds you of upcoming doctors’ appointments and recommended developmental screenings for your child.
“As a pediatrician, it is invaluable to be able to see that a child is meeting all of these milestones,” Funk said. “It really helps us make interventions early and reduce the chance of a potential issue in the future.”
Physical health: 4-H’s Eat & Move-O-Matic
Available in the Apple App Store, this app allows your child to learn about the food they eat and how it fuels their body through calories for children older than four. Your child will be able to compare the food they eat to the amount of activity it would take to burn those calories.
For food that is higher in calories, the app also provides options that would be healthier and encourage change in their eating habits.
Eat & Move-O-Matic was developed in partnership with the National 4-H Council and Walmart Foundation.
“This app not only teaches children about healthy eating, but also about being active. It is important for kids to learn that both are important aspects of being healthy,” Funk said.
Mental health: Moodpath
Mental health is a major concern for kids of all ages. This app can screen your children beginning at age 12 for depression and anxiety in an interactive way. The information can then be shared with your child’s doctor or therapist – allowing them to get a fuller picture of your child’s mental health.
The app will ask your child three different questions every day. Using statistics, the app is able to find areas that affect your child’s mental health the most. The app then offers resources tailored for those areas, such as guided meditations and sleep aids, for your child to complete.
Moodpath uses cognitive behavioral therapy principals in the app that were developed by experienced therapists and doctors. Research is conducted on the app to make sure the app continues to be effective at detecting mental health disorders and increasing well-being.
“When it comes to mental health, early detection and finding ways to cope are important. This app provides valuable resources not only for your child, but also their doctor or therapist,” Funk said.