New app helps manage and reduce food allergy risk in kids
Australia has the highest rate of food allergies in the world; one in 10 Australian babies are born with a food allergy, and 400,000 Australian children and 250,000 teens suffer from food allergies. Living with a food allergy is debilitating and can be a life-long burden.
Which is why allergy researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) have launched a free smartphone app to help manage the potentially life-threatening effects of food allergy.
The new app, Allergy Pal, helps carers to better manage a child’s food allergies and allergic reactions by providing instant access to their current ASCIA Action Plan, as well as crucial information about a child’s allergy triggers and treatment.
The app also helps to recognise a food allergy reaction and provides immediate to the information on the ASCIA Action Plan for what to do in an emergency, including when to use the EpiPen.
Allergy Pal has been developed by two of Australia’s paediatric allergists, Professor Katie Allen and Professor Mimi Tang at MCRI, in conjunction with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).
“We know that many parents are unable to distinguish the difference between mild or severe food allergies,” said Prof. Allen. “Knowing when to give an EpiPen is vital and can be the difference between a quick recovery, hospitalisation or a fatality.”
Allergy Pal helps reduce the stress of leaving a child with family and friends by giving them easy access to educational material needed to care for a child with food allergies. Allergy Pal can support carers to recognise the signs of an allergic reaction and seek appropriate help.
“Our research has shown that parents of food allergy sufferers can have an impaired quality of life. The stress of leaving a child with grandparents or at a play date can be immense,” said Prof. Tang. “With Allergy Pal, we have made the task of handing over temporary care of your child safer, easier and less stressful.”
Allergy Pal is available for free and can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play for Apple and Android devices.
For more information, visit www.mcriallergypal.com.au.
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