Before we left the hospital after my twins were born, my wife and I were presented with small books similar in size to a passport for each of our children. Inside each of these books there were places to keep important information such as the child’s name, age, weight, height, etc. We were also told that we would need to purchase new books every 6-12 months to keep them current. The intention of these books is twofold. First, it’s a great place to keep all of the pertinent information about the children for filling out doctor, insurance, and all of the (what seems like) thousands of papers needed for a new child. The other (not so nice to think about) intention is a place to keep information about the child in case (god forbid) the worst should happen and the child is abducted. It is a place to quickly reference all of the info about the child for the police. The major issue I always found with these books was the lack of update potential. They were bound books so adding pages wasn’t an option. That along with the limited space on each page (remember they were the size of a passport) left me buying new books what seemed like every couple of months. Enter Kid Safe. This wonderfully designed, well thought out App takes all of the information from those books and puts it in an organized, easily updated application for the iPad. This is one of those Apps that made me say “why in the world didn’t I think of that”.
What Makes It Great
When you fire up the application for the first time you are asked to enter all of the pertinent information about the child. It asks for their name, nickname, address, birthday (it then auto calculates their age), height, and weight. It also asks for a picture. (A quick note about the pictures: the space provided for the main picture is 480X480 pixels and currently the App attempts to squeeze your image into that box no matter what the orientation, or size of your image. I suggest resizing your image in Photoshop to 480X480 pixels so that your image doesn’t look distorted.) After you enter the basic information you can then proceed to enter more specialized information about the child. For example there is a section for Friends and Family (which also by the way has a 480X480 box for each friend and family member), medical information, School and Activities, and more photos. I found each section to be well thought out and very thorough. For example in the Medical section there are all of the things you would expect: blood type, allergies, medications etc. but there is also a section for special words. At first I didn’t put anything in this section but after a little thought, I realized that there are in fact special words that my children say, especially my daughter that would aid a specialized doctor or speech therapist etc. if she ever needed to be seen by one. This (in my opinion) was a very good addition. Each section has hidden gems like this and is what makes me applaud the designer for really thinking this App through.
A Few Tweaks…
While I really enjoy the items that I wouldn’t have thought of adding to this App, there are a few things that need to be added. First deals with the second use for “the books” or this application. If something was to ever happen to one of my kids, and they were missing it would be helpful for the police to have a copy of their finger prints. Now I know that the iPad doesn’t have a camera or a scanner of any kind to input the finger prints directly to the app, we do have traditional finger prints that I could do pictures of for input to a “finger print” section. Next is in the School and Activities Section. I would like to see a spot for an image or two of each activity for reference purposes. I realize this isn’t a “photo album” App, but it would still be nice to have. When it comes to information input for each child it would have been nice to have a “copy” or “same as other child” option. I know that not everyone has twins so not all of the info is going to be the same for each child, but information such as the name, address, and phone number of the child’s doctor would probably be the same. This also applies to the friends and family section. Having to manually input their mother and father’s (me) information twice is tedious. Two things that I would also like to see are slated for addition in the February 15th ver. 2.0 update. They are cloud (secure server) backup, and printing directly from iPad. The developer has indicated that he will also be adding the option to scale, or crop your images in this update which should fix the image distortion issue.
Even with a few small tweaks still to be made, this App has earned a place in my favorites. It has solved the problem of having to constantly update and buy new books for my twins. It has given me the peace of mind that I have all of their important information with me (almost) all of the time and that the information contained is the most up to date possible. With this App making sure that I have an updated picture easily accessible any time that it should be needed, along with all of the vital information about each child at my fingertips makes it a must have for me. If you have children you need this app.