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Health & Safety Watch iOS App May Increase Parental Angst

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A new iOS app named HSW, short for “Health & Safety Watch”, has been released by Intelligent Health Solutions Inc. Canada, that promises to be a real-time health and safety information resource for iPhone (via Canada.com). HSW app provides personalized information on Canadian advisories, recalls, and warnings, giving Canadians the information they need to make safe and informed choices for themselves and their families. However, renowned sociologist Barry Glassner believes that instead of enabling education, the app could actually cause “needless anxiety and increasing confusion about risks“.

According to the source:

Dr. Jeff Aramini, president of HSW, hopes the app will have the opposite effect, allowing parents a greater sense of control. “The more we know and the more we feel confident that we’re on top of things, the less we have to worry”, says Aramini.

According to the Guelph, Ont.-based organization, more than 1,000 recalls and advisories are issued every year, adding up to a tremendous challenge for busy parents. The app not only curates these public notices by geographic location, it allows users to filter threats by category: consumer products, food and drug, public health, and environmental.

But in putting health-advisory triage into the hands of citizens, with each notice receiving equal space and prominence on the iPhone app, sociologist Frank Furedi wonders if people will feel overwhelmed. “When you get so many of these things together, each one trivializes the next until you don’t know what you really need to worry about”, says Furedi, author of Paranoid Parenting and alumni of McGill University in Montreal. “It almost works to create an industry of fear around parenting”.

Using lists, maps, search capabilities, ranking algorithms, and your location, the HSW application helps you find health and safety information on a variety of topics most important to you: Food Products, Consumer Products, Health Products, Public Health, Water, and Environment

The app can be downloaded for free via the Canadian App Store using the following link:

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