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Children’s doctor adds head injury advice to free app

By 27th March 2024No Comments

A Bristol children’s doctor has added a head injuries care plan to a free app to give parents and carers advice on what to do if their child bumps their head.

Dr Michael Malley, an Emergency Department Consultant at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, has developed the head injuries section on the NHS HANDi App – a free app designed to help parents and carers when looking after a poorly child.

Dr Malley, who works at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: “Most minor head injuries are usually not a cause for concern so we have developed the head injuries care plan to give parents and carers detailed advice on understanding when they can treat their child at home and when is best to seek medical attention.

“The red flags for head injuries include vomiting more than once, becoming confused, abnormal movements such as fits, faints or funny turns, and losing consciousness or becoming drowsy. If your child has any of these symptoms, we would recommend you call 999 or go to A&E. If your child has a head injury without any red flags then you shouldn’t need to visit A&E, you can use the HANDi App for the best action to take.”

As well as head injury advice, the NHS HANDi App gives parent and carers expert guidance on a range of childhood illnesses including diarrhoea and vomiting, high temperature, tummy pain, chestiness and common problems experienced by newborn babies.

The easy-to-use app takes parents through a series of questions about the symptoms their child is experiencing and then advises on the best course of action, whether that’s to treat at home, to make a GP appointment, call NHS 111 or call 999.

Each of the most common childhood illnesses has a Home Care Plan to help parents provide the best support for their child.

Dr Joanne Medhurst, Chief Medical Officer at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, said: “We understand it’s natural for parents to worry about a poorly child, particularly if you are a new parent. Babies will often be ill, especially if they have siblings. But it can be difficult to know whether the illness is minor or if the child needs to see a doctor.

“That’s where the HANDi App comes in. Most childhood illnesses are minor, but the app will help parents make decisions on whether to treat their child at home, call NHS 111 or contact their GP or local hospital. It puts parents in the driving seat by giving them all the information they need to make the right decision for their child when they are unwell.”

Dr Malley added: “We also hope it will prevent unnecessary trips to A&E which can be stressful for parents and children. A&E can be busy at peak times of year and children could also be exposed to other viruses while in a hospital environment.”
The HANDi App is available to download for Apple phones from the app store or iTunes and for Android phones at Google Play.