The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2013-05-31T01:31:45Z Children's health diary helps parents find answers 2013-05-31T01:31:45Z children-s-health-diary-helps-parents-find-answers HOBART, Tas, 31 May 2013 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEIt’s not unusual ... you’re at the doctors with your child, you’re seeing someone different (again), being asked a myriad of questions and expected to have the last 6 months’ of your child’s medical history on the tip of your tongue ... or ... you’re in the ER, anxious and emotional, you can’t remember what you had for breakfast, let alone when ‘Billy’ last had antibiotics or reacted to eating a muesli bar ...1 in 10 babies born in Australia today will develop a food allergy and at least 1 in 9 Australian children has asthma §. The diagnosis of many childhood conditions results from observing and monitoring symptoms over a period of time.  This applies to the most prevalent conditions to those less easy to identify, such as autism spectrum disorders and chronic illnesses like coeliac disease.Those caring for young children need to be able to help doctors identify symptom patterns, recognise reactions and triggers and generally be attuned to their child’s health.When consulting a GP or specialist, it is vital to recall and relay as accurately as possible what has happened, when symptoms started, what measures have been taken, over-the-counter treatments administered and so on.  Once there, parents will often be asked for other important background information, such as the child’s weight, blood type, existing and previous conditions and medications (especially when seeing a different physician).  Healthcare professionals often expect parents to have this information to hand, even though it may also be recorded in electronic files.The busy-ness of life can make it difficult for parents to keep track of such details.  So, many parents go in search of tools and resources to help keep organised – an exercise Australian mum and author, Monique Smart, also undertook.Like many, Mrs Smart embraced being a new mum with good intentions, albeit undermined by feelings of complete inadequacy and general overwhelm. After enduring months of severe infant colic, and various other infant-ills, the start of childcare signalled a whole new plethora of infections, dramatic x-ray and hospital dashes for her and her son.To gain an insight into his health, Mrs Smart started keeping notes of her son’s symptoms, surrounding circumstances and doctor visits. And while she had a very good GP, having her own ‘big-picture’ view of her son’s health helped Mrs Smart identify patterns and triggers, resulting in more meaningful discussions with her son’s doctor and a proactive involvement in her son’s general health and asthma management.“As a new mum, with a not unusually unwell child, I was surprised there wasn’t already a purpose-designed product on the market where I could jot down my sons symptoms, coughs and fevers etc as they arose.” says Mrs Smart.  “The government Child Health Record book I received after birth is great for developmental notes but there simply wasn’t enough room to record everything beyond the first few illnesses.”This lead Mrs Smart to create I’ve Got an Ow – a children’s health journal/diary to help parents maximise medical consultations and monitor their child’s health and wellbeing.While there are other children’s or family health records available, the majority are quite prescriptive as to the information to be recorded or cover so many aspects of a child’s development as to be impractical for frequent note taking.  Digital apps are another option but are not necessarily practical nor do they suit everyone.I’ve Got an Ow! is different. It is purpose-designed to provide parents a practical tool for use on-the-go, and, when used regularly, culminates in a consolidated medical history to pass on to children when they grow up. Separated families and those with chronically unwell children will find it particularly useful too.In response to overwhelmingly positive feedback, Mrs Smart has published an international edition of I’ve Got an Ow, which has been nominated for the AusMumpreneur Product Innovation Award 2013.§ Sources: Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (http://www.allergyfacts.org.au/allergy-and-anaphylaxis); National Asthma Council of Australia (http://www.kidswithasthma.com.au/) Can you afford not to keep track of your child’s health? 2012-11-24T13:32:00Z can-you-afford-not-to-keep-track-of-your-child-s-health Infants and little kids can get sick ... a lot. This especially holds true once they start childcare or school and are bombarded by a seemingly never-ending cycle of infections.  Add to this the high prevalence of allergies, food intolerances and more than one child, it is little wonder parents find it hard to keep track!The busy-ness of parenting makes it difficult to remember details of when a new illness started, what factors might have triggered a particular symptom or when the last medication was prescribed.  This is often exacerbated by having to see different healthcare professionals, who expect parents to have all this information to-hand.The solution is simple – record it all in a purpose-designed journal. Conceived and designed by Monique Smart (mother and owner of messpots), I've Got an Ow is a highly practical aide-mémoire for parents to record their child’s health conditions, symptoms, illnesses, treatments, current medications, significant health events and more.This journal gives parents peace-of-mind by enabling them to have relevant information at their fingertips to help maximise medical appointments and assist in monitoring their child’s health.  No more of those “ummm ...” moments at the doctors! It includes tables to note general health details, contact pages for healthcare providers, useful first aid & children’s health resources (for Aust and NZ), pockets for business cards, scripts and leaflets, plus over 70 pages for tracking incidents, symptoms, conditions and treatments.The health record tables in I've Got an Ow are deliberately designed to be relatively non-prescriptive, so parents can write what they want to remember.  It is also an attractive and useful keepsake to pass on to children when they reach adulthood, so they too can have an understanding of their early medical and health history. “As a new mum, with a not unusually unwell child (just the common things), I was surprised there wasn’t already a product on the market where I could keep notes of all of his symptoms, coughs and fevers etc.  So I started writing notes in school diaries but figured there had to be a better system, and so ‘I’ve Got an Ow!’ was born ... it really is the latest ‘must-have’ parenting tool.”Monique has been a mother for 4½ years and previously worked as a senior lawyer for 17 years in Melbourne.  messpots was launched in November 2011.I've Got an Ow is priced at $24.95 and is available from messpots (www.messpots.com.au), and selected retailers including The Sydney Children’s Hospital Bookshop, The Allergy Shop and Fullers Bookshop (Hobart).