Health World — 26 January 2011
‘SOS Poison’ smartphone app is ready to save lives

The ‘SOS Poison’ smartphone app is ready to save lives, on your iPhone or Android smartphone.

What must you do when a child has eaten a buttercup? Should you induce vomiting in a child who has swallowed bleach? What must you do to save a life when you fear that someone has been poisoned?

These are terrifying questions to try and answer quickly, when every second may count. And, in the past, you needed to telephone a poisons information center at a major hospital to get the right medical advice.

But now, everyone with a smartphone can find answers to these kinds of questions immediately, by using the new ‘SOS Poison’ app, which is available for iPhones as well as Android phones.

The SOS Poison application for smartphones contains an alphabetic list with 190 toxic substances. For each substance, there is an instruction on what to do if a child has ingested it. In addition, the app also contains a list of more than 60 toxic plants.

Every plant has a clear photo next to it, so that users can immediately recognise which plant a child has eaten from. The app also provides advice on ticks, snakes, jellyfish, bees or wasps and there is a separate chapter with prevention tips and other relevant information.

“This app is of course intended for parents, but is certainly also useful for teachers, playschool teachers, sports instructors and others who deal with children,” says publisher Don Veldkamp.

The SOS Poison app is a publication by the Dutch Foundation ‘Ticket to Prevent’. The foundation works closely together with experts from the Dutch Red Cross, The Orange Cross, and ‘Consumer and Safety’, the Dutch consumer safety watchdog.

“An important advantage of the app is the ease with which new advice or altered insights can be implemented. We can therefore continuously keep the app up-to-date,” says Veldkamp.

If you buy the SOS Poison app, the latest updated version is always available for free, via the app store.

The app has now been available for a few weeks, and is clearly catching on. One user wrote, “This is an amazing app if ever I’ve seen one. If you have young children, this is almost a must.”

The SOS Poison app is available in English, German, Dutch and French. Veldkamp said they are currently busily translating the SOS Poison App, and making it available in the app stores of other European countries.

The SOS Poison app can be downloaded from Apple’s iTunes App store for the payment of around $4.75 (2.99 GBP). Android users can download the app directly from the Android market, using their cellphones.

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About Author

David Harvey, Editor

David Harvey left school at 17 and went straight into newspapers as a cadet reporter. (He also a keen photographer and learned both trades.) He worked as a photojournalist in Hong Kong and as a war correspondent in Vietnam during the war. He moved to Australia in the late 1970s and got involved in I.T. during the mid-80s. This website is his latest venture here, combining news-gathering with the power of the internet. See: news-reporter

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