Local school using technology to keep kids healthy - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Local school using technology to keep kids healthy

Source: KAUZ Source: KAUZ

One local school is using technology to stay one step ahead of all the illnesses that may pop up during the school year.
Parents can download an app that can help stop the sickness.
John Tower Elementary has the app.
It's called Kinsa and it provides a free smart thermometer and allows parents to blog about symptoms their kids may have.
It is all in an effort to reduce sick days and keep kids healthy and learning.
The school is taking the proactive approach thanks to nurse Robin VanDonge.
    "Keeping our children in our classrooms is our top priority." VanDonge said. "If I can come up with a way to help the parents and staff keep their kids sick free, healthy and happy to come to school, that's what I am going to do."
VanDonge also works as an E.R. nurse and said that is how she came across the app.
What does it do?
It provides a smart thermometer you can attach to a smart phone or tablet.
Kids can take their temperature while playing a bubble game.
    "You can just hook it up to your smart phone and just pop bubbles," Gavin Burk, a student said. "It is less time and more fun instead of just sitting there."
His mom said the blog is the key to keeping the kids healthy.
    "It allows us as staff, parents and families to go on and basically have an online conversation about how our kids are feeling or if our family members are sick," Keshia Burk, a parent said.
Parents can send anonymous messages to other parents and faculty so they can take extra precautions.
    "I love the blog because parents can get on there anonymously, or with their name, and put on anything that is going on with their kid," VanDonge said. "That way I can be watching for those symptoms when other kids come into my office."
VanDonge said that the school already has 400 members and wants at least 24 more by December 1st to meet their goal of 50 percent.
John Tower Elementary is the only school in the area that has this technology and one of 600 nationally doing the trial.
Keshia Burk said, as a parent, it is an invaluable resource.
The school has also implemented a wellness class so the students can be more educated about their health.

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