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.
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 6 months of age. The 19 signs and symptoms now used in Baby Check were found to give the most accurate assessment.
Originally distributed to parents by The Lullaby Trust in booklet form, the idea to develop this resource into a user-friendly app came from health visiting team leader Carroll Johnson-Chapman who is based in Birmingham.
Carroll’s idea won the backing of The Lullaby Trust and her employer, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, who provided research and development support to develop Baby Check into an app available to download from Google Play and the App Store.
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.”
GP and Mail on Sunday health columnist Dr Ellie Cannon said: “As both a parent and a GP, I understand the anxiety parents experience when their baby is unwell. Baby Check’s easy-to-follow checklist allows parents to identify their baby’s symptoms and confidently decide what level of care is necessary. Baby check is a fantastic resource for any parent who is unsure about their baby’s health.”
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.”
Notes to editors
About Baby Check
Baby Check was developed from a 4-year project to investigate the key signs and symptoms of illness in over 1,000 babies under 6 months of age. This included 300 well babies at home and 700 babies in hospital with a variety of illnesses. All signs and symptoms were analysed to find the best combination to be used to assess the severity of a baby’s illness. The 19 signs and symptoms now used in Baby Check were found to give the most accurate assessment.
The accuracy and acceptability of Baby Check has been tested in several field trials.
The research team consisted of Dr Peter Hewson in Melbourne Australia; Dr Colin Morley, Dr Tim Cole and Mrs Alison Thornton in Cambridge.
Learn more about the Baby Check app here.