Avoiding Flu: A New App for ‘Sick Zones’

Parents are always on high alert when it comes to keeping their kids healthy and safe. As they take their kids to school or carry out their daily errands, parents may worry that they are unwittingly exposing their children to dangerous illnesses like the flu or strep throat. Because parents cannot keep their children isolated from the world, moms and dads want to use every resource at their disposal to detect these dangers and avoid putting their kids in harm’s way. Using a smartphone app like Sickweather can help parents know what illnesses are lurking in their neighborhoods, and take the preventative steps to keep their children healthy and free from diseases.

Most childhood diseases are harmless and prove to be little more than inconvenient. However, the flu can wreak devastation on a child’s immune system, leading to serious side effects and even death. The CDC reports on its website that 91 children have died in the past year from influenza. Because parents can never know with certainty how the flu will affect their children, they can be proactive in keeping their offspring safe by using Sickweather to monitor what illnesses could pose the greatest risk.

Sickweather helps people be proactive and on alert by scouring social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook for status updates that include details about diseases. When people post information about their kids having the flu or someone they know suffering from an infectious illness like strep or a stomach virus, the app makes note of this information and compiles it into a real-time report. The report acts as radar of sorts to pinpoint what geographical areas across the country have the highest incidences of illnesses. If a parent plans to go shopping or plans to drop his or her kids off at school, the parent can check the real-time report to verify what illnesses could be lying in wait for his or her family.

While it may be imprudent to believe that people can keep their children 100 percent safe from every illness, this technology lets them take the best step now to safeguard their children’s health. Knowing what infections could be lingering at their kids’ school, the local shopping mall, the library, or any other place in town allows people to avoid those locations, or take along supplies like hand sanitizer and face masks to prevent them from being infected. This app can also help families who have children with compromised immune systems and cannot fight off diseases as well as healthier children.