Figuring Out if Your Kid Has a Concussion Now Less of a Headache

Jacqueline Burt Cote

girl head bumpIt's the big question every time your kid does a face-plant on the sidewalk or bangs his head falling from a chair: Does he have a concussion? And how can you really tell? A new smartphone app is being developed to help parents figure out the difference between a harmless bump on the forehead and something more serious: The app asks parents a series of questions from "How did they get hurt?" to "How did they progress over time?" then determines, based on your answers, whether or not your child's pediatrician should be emailed with the results.

Obviously an app can't diagnose a medical condition on its own, but I still think this could be a helpful tool for anyone with a toddler who thinks he can defy gravity (which is to say, everyone with a toddler). Even though we've read about signs and symptoms in books and probably learned about them in first-aid classes, too, when your kid gets hurt, all of that accrued knowledge has a way of vacating your brain entirely. (Wait, what did the doctor say the symptoms of a concussion are? Won't a concussion make him get sleepy? Oh my god, what if he takes a nap?!) With an app like this, you'd at least have a rough assessment of the situation right away, long before the doctor returns your call.

In fact, I kind of feel like there should be apps like this one for a multitude of childhood injuries and ailments: The What's This Weird Rash? app, the Is It a Cold or an Ear Infection? app. Why call your husband or mother and whip them up into a panic when an unfailingly rational piece of technology can get you through those first moments of not knowing whether or not something is wrong?

Would you use an app to figure out what was wrong with your kid?


Image via judyvk/Flickr

Read More