The American Red Cross has been building a great collection of medical and health apps over the past few years. Their collection of apps is similar to the CDCs — the CDC has a number of medical apps aimed at physicians and patients. Notable medical apps by the American Red Cross have been their blood transfusion guidelines, disaster response and emergency preparedness apps, and their blood donor app (the health app tells you where your donated blood goes and how many lives you helped save). One of the American Red Cross’ most recent apps is Monster Guard, a free gamification app focused on helping prepare children for emergencies.
The Monster Guard app uses games to teach children how to prepare and stay safe during various emergencies — such as home fires, hurricanes, floods, and other disasters. The app is set in “Monster Guard Academy” and uses a variety of characters to do the teaching, and children get points and medals for completing tasks. The goal is to complete enough tasks and collect enough points to “graduate” from Monster Guard Academy.
The emergency preparedness app is sponsored by Disney and is free to download. I was extremely impressed with the Red Cross app and it has garnered a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on iTunes. Many of the comments talk about how parents are using this app to teach their children how to prepare for natural disasters, with some users utilizing the app to teach to their Cub Scouts. The overwhelming opinion of the emergency preparedness app is kids are learning without realizing they are actually learning.
The Red Cross has done a great job with this disaster and emergency preparedness app. Pediatricians should seriously consider recommending this app to parents of children ages 7 to 11.