As schools across the UK close to most children, 8.2 million young people will now be kept at home.
Coronavirus: Apps to help children and young people
As schools across the UK close to most children, 8.2 million young people will now be kept at home. (1)
The present COVID-19 situation is stressful for everyone, never mind the youngest within our communities. As such, we’d like to suggest some useful resources that can help to support children and young people during this difficult and uncertain time.
Embracing their love of smartphones, apps can keep children and young people engaged with their health and wellbeing, as well as relieving pressure on the NHS.
App stores are, however, unregulated, and 85% of apps do not meet ORCHA’s quality threshold. To share knowledge and resources, we’ve pulled together a list of apps suitable for children and young people, all of which are safe to use according to our evaluations, covering:
- Managing mental health, including anxiety
- Conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
ORCHA helps the NHS to assess and build apps into practice. Please feel free to get in touch with us at email@example.com if you’d like any more information or advice on finding suitable apps to help you, your family, or your patients with self-managing health and care during this time of uncertainty.
Coronavirus: Apps to help children and young people
- The Worrinots* and Wotnot* are companion apps to help children offload their worries, and allow parents to monitor their child’s concerns. The Worrinots is a secure app designed for children, providing them with a safe place to share their worries, fears and concerns, which in turn provides them with a practical, fun coping mechanism for their fears, using one of the four Worrinots characters. Parents can use the Wotnot companion app in parallel, which has been designed specifically to help parents/carers monitor children’s fears when they are sharing them through The Worrinots app.
- Chill Panda is a family friendly relaxation, breathing exercise and activity app. It allows children and adults to start to understand how their bodies respond to different feelings, and includes some play based activities demonstrated by a panda avatar.
- Wysa* is an emotionally intelligent chatbot which employs research-backed, widely used techniques such as CBT, DBT, Yoga and meditation, to support users with stress, anxiety, sleep, loss and a whole range of other mental health and wellness needs.
- Mindful Powers™* is a kid-first, holistic approach to helping young minds learn and practice mindfulness so they can respond more effectively to stressful situations through the power of play. Built on a skills-based approach that helps children in early and middle childhood build a healthier relationship with life, stress, and anxiety, Mindful Powers™ empowers kids to bring calm to their lives at the touch of their fingertips.
- Moshi Twilight Sleep Stories* provides children with soothing bedtime stories, relaxations and sounds, allowing them to drift calmly off to sleep. Each story follows the natural pattern of sleep, slowing in rhythm as dreamy melodies and comforting bedtime themes emerge.
- Rafi Tone is an app designed to help make using an inhaler with a spacer easier and more fun for young children with wheeze or asthma symptoms. It works alongside the Able Spacer and small whistle mask manufactured by Clement Clarke International Ltd. and available on prescription or from the pharmacist. There is a whistle tone emitted by the mask when correct breathing technique is used.
- MySpira is an augmented reality, asthma training game, developed in collaboration with healthcare professionals. It is only compatible with ARKit enabled devices. In the app, children will learn about asthma and good inhaler techniques from Dr. Woozo, a character from outer space, and through fun mini-games.
- Dario Diabetes Management is a tool designed to simplify diabetes management. It allows users to keep a record of blood glucose levels, monitor progress through a logbook, and keep track of emotions, which can have an impact on blood glucose. The Dario App can seamlessly share real-time information with caregivers or family members, meaning that parents can monitor their child’s diabetes information.
- EmolliZoo is a fun way to help children learn about dry skin conditions, in particular eczema, and the need for emollient. Children learn the correct way to use their own emollient through game play and are rewarded with stickers and certificates when they maintain a good routine of emollient use. All EmolliZoo educational content is accredited by the National Eczema Society (Regd Charity Nos 1009671 and SCO43669). A separate Parent section includes more detailed information about the skin, eczema, and emollients.
- Brush DJ has been developed by a dentist for anyone wanting to reduce their risk of gum disease and tooth decay. The app helps keep children’s smile healthy and breath fresh by using a toothbrush timer that plays 2 minutes of music from your devices, cloud or streaming service, making tooth-brushing for an effective length of time less boring!
- Triumf has been designed for children and young people with cancer, diabetes, asthma, surgical intervention, and young people who are overweight or obese. The app encourages users to play a fun game, find out more about their illness, get psychological support from a virtual friend, and get rewarded for changing their habits. It aims to improve mental wellbeing, health-related quality of life, and patient engagement. This app needs a referral code from a doctor to use.
Experts think that coronavirus can survive on surfaces, possibly for days, so it’s important that your phone – at home, mobile or at work – is cleaned thoroughly and often. As modern phones tend to be water-resistant and sterilising wipes could damage the screen, you could clean your phone with regular soap and water and a single-use paper towel – but do check your phone is water-resistant before you try it. (2)
*may include in-app purchases
With a wealth of useful apps on our App Library, the above is not an exhaustive list.