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Health tool helps Latino families decide when it’s time to call the pediatrician

LatinaLista — A parent’s worst moment is when their child is sick. Their worst nightmare is when they have no health insurance and money is so tight that a doctor’s visit is a last resort.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their 2010 report on the state of the health in the United States found “in 2009, children 6-17 years of age were more likely to be uninsured than younger children, and children with a family income below 200% of the poverty level were more likely to be uninsured than children in higher-income families.”

Unfortunately, Latinos have the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group within the United States. So, what is a Latino parent to do when their child complains of not feeling well and no one in the family knows if it’s serious enough to spend the money on a doctor’s visit?

Well, there’s a convenient tool that helps parents make a preliminary diagnosis before picking up the phone or loading the sick child into a car for a trip to the clinic or ER.

It’s called the KidsDoc Symptom Checker and it’s found on the website, which happens to be run by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

It’s a very basic tool and easy to use. The silhouettes of a boy and girl are presented on the homepage. As a parent moves the cursor over the bodies, each section of the body is highlighted. Parents select the area where their child is complaining of pain and a list of possible illnesses associated with that area of the body pops up.

The site defines the illness, when the parent should call the doctor and how to care for the child. While it’s not the same as speaking to a doctor, it’s the next best thing. There is even an app for the program that costs $1.99 at iTunes.

From what we’ve seen in the comments section of the app page, the app proved disappointing to some buyers who expected a more in-depth medical analysis. Yet with images showcasing possible outcomes of stings and bites, having a handy pediatric dosage table for over-the-counter medicine and illustrated First Aid instructions, the app seems to more than deliver for its $2.00 price tag.

At a time when things don’t look like they’ll be getting cheaper or easier, anything that helps keep to a minimum the worry of how to care for a sick child is worth the time and small investment.

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