CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As flu season begins to ramp up, sending your kids to school and daycare can be a gamble with germs.
“There’s a lot of coughing and sneezing this time of the year,” said Melanie McNinch, the president of the PTA at Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School.
But a new app, Sneez, is looking to help slow the spread of the flu and other illnesses.
So how does it work?
It tracks what bug kids are currently fighting. It tracks conditions such as the common cold, the flu and stomach viruses.
McNinch, who is also a nurse and a mother of two, said she is excited about the newest tool.
“As a mom, it’s a way to be aware of what’s happening in school from an illness standpoint,” she said.
Dr. Bill Satterwhite, a pediatrician and father of four, came up with it.
“Idea really came several years ago when I was seeing lots of sick children and I was thinking it would be helpful if I knew what was going around in the school or community,” Dr. Satterwhite said.
When a child is sick, their parents can sign in to the app and add what symptoms or illness they’re dealing with. Then, other parents using the app at the school will begin receiving notifications.
There’s also a mapping feature that shows who’s sick with what and where. So far, there are about 100 schools represented on the app.
“I really think we can do better if we share information so we know what’s going around,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “It’s hard to prevent something if you don’t know what’s around.”
The app, launched in Wilmington and are still new in Charlotte, relies on crowdsourcing so the more schools and families involved, the better.