Children’s of Alabama announced the launch of a new mobile application today, designed to identify toxic plants and venomous and poisonous animals in Alabama. It is free to download on both iOS and Android devices.
According to hospital officials, the “Poison Perils of Alabama” app is “a simple resource to identify potentially dangerous plants, insects, snakes and common household items from a mobile device.”
The app includes information on plants, snakes, insects and household items that Children’s Alabama Poison Information Center receives calls about each year. The hotline is one of the hospitals few services that treats adults in addition to children.
Last year, the APIC handled more than 50,000 calls and provided more than 60,000 follow-up calls to assure appropriate treatment and outcomes.
“Poison Perils was designed to provide key information about Alabama’s flora, fauna and also common household items, that is critical for parents, teachers and other caregivers to know in order to keep children, and themselves, safe,” said Dr. Ann Slattery of the APIC. “We believe this is the first and only resource of its kind in Alabama and think this information is critical due to the state’s amazing array of biodiversity.”
The app purposely does not provide treatment recommendations, because each exposure is unique and needs to be assessed by calling a specialist in poison information.
Slattery said the app also serves as a hotline to dial the APIC in an emergency – every screen has a one-touch shortcut to call the APIC rather than dial the center’s 10-digit telephone number.
Without an identification resource like this app, she said, parents and caregivers must rely on trying to describe an insect, plant, snake or household item in question, losing precious time in the event of an emergency.
The app was developed by MotionMobs, a custom software consulting and development firm in Birmingham. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and UAB helped make this resource possible, according to Slattery.