Apps and Gadgets for a healthy Back to School

A colorful toy on a table - Triad Community Unit School District #2

Summer is always so much shorter than it seems! Those vacation days are now behind us and it’s once again time to go back to school. Getting up early and attending all the school-related activities are the new normal. Every year we put together a list of apps and gadgets that can help parents get back into the swing of things. Here are a few ideas:

Save time on a quick doctor checkup

Staying healthy is at the top of the list for every family but the odds are not in your favor. It’s simple math. When large groups of people come together such as in schools, germ swapping is likely and the risk of getting sick is much higher. During this season doctors see a rise in all kinds of diseases like ear infections and sore throats to name a few.

Videoconferencing is not new. We do it with our friends and loved ones through Skype, FaceTime, Whatsapp, you name it. Now, you can video conference with a doctor for a quick checkup. The fancy name for it is Telemedicine and Baptist Health South Florida has developed an app called Care on Demand. Using your smartphone or computer, you can now see a doctor 24/7 without leaving the house. The doctor can examine your symptoms via video and make a quick diagnosis. He or she can prescribe medication immediately or send you in for further evaluation.

Better Sleep for kids

If you are like us, you wish your kids would sleep more and wake up in a better mood. There is a phenomenon called sleep inertia, or grogginess, that happens when you wake up from a deep sleep, which also affects kids. The Tick Tock Turtle monitors your kid’s movements while sleeping so it can wake them up at the right time. This would be when their sleep is in its lightest state. When it’s time to get up, the turtle lights up and mimics the effects of sunrise to make it easier on the body. The benefits are clear, kids wake up in a better mood. I’m looking for the wife version of this product. Will report as soon as I find it.

Staying Hydrated for Back to School

We’ve been living through a super heat-wave. Staying hydrated should be at the top of the list for staying healthy. The problem for parents is tracking how much water the kids are actually consuming. The Gululu is a smart water bottle that turns the simple act of drinking water into a fun game. The bottle has a monitor on the side with a video game where your kid can choose a virtual pet that grows and achieves milestones the more water your kid drinks. The bottle is paired up with a personalized app and parents are notified on how much water their kids are drinking. A win-win.

Healthy listening

Videos, lectures and games are now part of the school year as well. Kids are using headphones more than ever and those headphones might have a smaller size but are designed for adults. This means that they can reach an unhealthy volume level that might affect your child’s hearing. According to the Center for Disease Control, hearing loss is the third most common chronical physical condition in the U.S. and for the most part, it can be avoided. The Buddyphones PLAY headphones were designed with fun design for kids but most importantly, they limit the volume. It has four safe audio listening modes, over 14 hours of battery life, are wireless and are designed to be pretty durable.

Wishing you a happy, connected and most importantly, healthy school year.

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