Sydney local health districts have collaborated to develop the 'Deadly Tots' app to help parents keep check and track of their babies’ healthy growth.
South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) Aboriginal health director Nathan Jones says: "'Deadly' is a word the Aboriginal community use for 'excellent' or 'amazing', and the Deadly Tots app aims to teach families how to help their baby get an excellent start in life.”
The app, now over one year old, sends notifications about how to help babies learn and grow, reminders about immunisations and health checks, and about development milestones that babies should reach at each age.
Since its launch, the app has updated so that parents can save their own contact details.
The final version will be released in July 2016.
The health services developed the app after receiving feedback through social media from parents in the area.
Up to 80 per cent accessed social media using their smart phone, and 93 per cent thought receiving health support through social media was helpful.
SWSLHD Community Health General Manager Justin Duggan says Aboriginal children tend to have lower participation rates in early childhood services and risk increased rates of vulnerability before starting school.
"That's why programs like this phone app are so important in providing information and support, to help increase participation rates and close the health gap," he said.
It has been designed with artwork from a painting by Aboriginal students at Sunning Hill School who were inspired by a painting by the Ngala Nanga Mai Parent group La Perouse, another one of Deadly Tots Projects.
Wendy Geddes, director of Child, Youth and Family Clinical Services, SWSLHD Primary and Community Health, says the Deadly Tots app has been a "great collaboration" between South Western Sydney and Sydney Local Health Districts.
The project receives funding from the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.