As kids head back class, many families are bracing for the bevvy of colds, earaches, and other bugs that come with the start of the school year. There’s also the stuff kids are teased about related to their health, from childhood obesity to asthma, and even wearing braces. While tech is often blamed for some of these conditions, there are some new gadgets, apps, and websites to help.
A surprising new way tech is making life a little easier for many teens — invisible high-tech braces. Braces are the worst, and not just because other kids make fun of them. Food gets stuck in between them, they hurt, and at the end of the day, they’re weird metal things literally cemented to your teeth. It’s awful.
Invisalign’s new G5 technology can correct a huge number of teeth and bite issues without the need for metal headgear. Sure, strapping all those wires and brackets to your teeth is like a rite of passage. But it’s also something many kids are self-conscious about. Now, these clear plastic aligners can mean less social drama for teens, and for parents, the fact that Invisalign is covered by many dental plans means an affordable way to great smile.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of every three children in America are either overweight or obese. A new company called Kurbo created an app that gives kids a way to manage their eating habits on that smartphone they’re glued to all the time anyway. The app has a food tracker based the easy-to-understand red-light/green-light game — along with other high-tech tools to entertain and engage kids while empowering them to make healthier choices themselves. Kids can also get virtual and live coaching from real people who will help your child or teen stick to their goals and stay on track.
LaLa Lunchbox is another great way to help younger kids develop good eating habits from a very early age. The “lunchbox” is really a connected app that assigns a different goofy monster to every food item your kid tosses into their bag lunch. It helps kids get involved in their lunch planning and emphasizes healthy foods like fruits and veggies by giving them a kid-friendly animated touch.
Can you hear me now?
Do ear infections nail your youngster at every turn? Take the guess work out of an at-home diagnosis with a new smartphone attachment called the Cellscope Oto. The genius little accessory will take a high-res photo of your child’s potentially infected eardrum to send it to your family physician for diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. It launches this winter, just in time for chilly days and stuffy heads. Now, if your kid accidentally gets a dime stuck in their ear, I’m not sure this will help.