Have you heard about the new American Red Cross First Aid app? It was briefly described here on the blog a few weeks ago, and though I already know a decent amount about basic first aid, I was intrigued enough to download the app on my iPhone. (It didn’t hurt that the app was free!)
For those of you who might still be on the fence about whether or not you need the first aid app in your arsenal of apps, let me break it (what the app offers) down for you.
In this section, users have an opportunity to learn more about responding to and/or treating specific injuries and illnesses (allergies/anaphylaxis, bleeding, broken bones, burns, choking, heart attacks, poisoning, seizures, stroke, unconsciousness, etc.). Short video summaries, step-by-step instructions, links to related first aid instructions, and frequently asked questions and their answers are available to address each first aid emergency.
In this section, users are presented with information about how to prepare for a variety of natural disasters (drought, earthquakes, home and wild fires, flooding, hurricanes, power outages, tornados, etc.). Descriptions of each emergency as well as before, during, and after checklists and links to related first aid instructions are available to help users know what to expect and how to survive in the face of Mother Nature’s worst.
In this section, users have access to the same videos and instructions provided in the Learn section, but for each emergency users are also presented with three short and simple steps – which always include when to call 911 as well as an active button to actually complete the call – that will help save lives when every minute counts.
In this section, users can take short “challenges” related to bleeding, heart attacks, burns, choking, unconscious breathing, and preparedness. Successfully completing challenges earns users badges – you can collect all six!
The app also provides users with an opportunity to donate financially online or via text, to sign up for a course, and to read the latest national and international Red Cross news stories and press releases. Additional information is available about the history of the organization, volunteer opportunities, purchasing first aid kits, and donating blood, and in what I consider a stroke of genius, users can also share their own personal Red Cross stories in a community forum.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first downloaded the app, but I can honestly say that I was incredibly impressed with the information provided and the ease of use. My five-year-old absolutely LOVED the challenges, and spent an entire afternoon reading through the Learn section so that he could pass each one and earn the badges. (More on that next week!)
According to the online reviews, which give the app a 4.5 out of 5 stars, users love the illustrations and videos, and find the app easy to navigate. A few folks made comments about how challenging it could be to keep the app up-to-date as new health and safety information becomes available, but I have no doubt that the American Red Cross will make keeping the app current will be a top priority.