Keeping kids healthy through technology

Keeping kids healthy through technology
pic of smart thermometer being used by Valley View School District (Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -Administration and staff of a local school are working on providing parents of their students with as much information as possible about their child’s health.

The FLUency program is a national health program by Kinsa, a company that makes smart thermometers that help parents and school nurses know what illnesses are going around their schools.

Registered Nurse for the Valley View School District Britany Timmons said the program is designed to help decrease absences through a thermometer and app on your phone.

“A thermometer works through an app on your phone,” Timmons said. “When you take the temperature it blue-tooths to your phone and gives recommendations based on temperature. So, it will tell you if you have a fever first. If it is a fever that needs to be treated. It’ll give you recommendations on medication to treat it with. Dosage appropriate for the age.”

The information doesn’t stop there, though.

“It will also let you enter in symptoms and based on those symptoms tell you whether you should go to the doctor,” Timmons said. “Once you see a doctor if you’re diagnosed with something such as the flu you go in and put flu. It is all anonymous, aggregated information. So, once it goes into that app it basically just divides it up by grade. So, it’ll say something like there are 5 third graders with the flu. So, if your child is seeing similar symptoms and you realize they have a fever, hopefully you don’t send them to school and they don’t infect other people.”

The app never reveals who the child is, only their grade. Its purpose is to give parents an idea of what’s going around in their child’s grade.

“It’s our goal to not send your sick kid to school,” Timmons said. “In a situation where there are 20 or more kids in a class room where they could potentially spread the illness. Versus keeping that one child at home.”

Timmons said they launched the program in Sept. but didn’t send the thermometers out until just before Thanksgiving break.

All parents have to do is download the app, put in their child’s information and then order the thermometer.

Over 180 parents signed up for the program.

“The parents have been very excited,” Timmons said. “They’ve all been receptive and ready to get the thermometers, so they could start using them. Hopefully, it will be a very helpful tool as flu season approaches.”

Timmons said the program is closed for this year, but they will get the opportunity next year to relaunch it.

Valley View is among the 500 schools participating nationally for the program.

Over 10,000 applications were received and only 4 schools across Arkansas are taking part.

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