The app can be downloaded starting today on iTunes.
It uses pictures and words to help identify plants, animals, and insects in Alabama that pose threats to humans with their toxins. The app, which also includes some household items is from the Regional Poison Control Center at Children’s of Alabama and is supplemental to the center’s annual handbook.
Bees, spiders, rattlesnakes, poison ivy, and fire ants — they are all on the app. So is mistletoe, whose berries are highly poisonous. And so is the fuzzy Saddleback caterpillar whose bristles emit a venom that can cause a painful sting and skin irritation.
“That looks like a mean caterpillar,” said Adam Kelley, a spokesman for Children’s.
Kelley said the app tries to specifically identify Alabama flora and fauna. For example it includes the six poisonous snakes known to inhabit the state: the pygmy rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, copperhead, cotton mouth and coral snake.
Last year, Poison Control handled more than 32,000 calls and provided more than 75,000 follow-up calls to assure proper treatment and outcomes, according to a news release.
“Poison Perils was designed to provide key information about Alabama’s flora, fauna, and also common household items, that is critical for parents, teachers and other caregivers to know in order to keep children, and themselves, safe,” Dr. Ann Slattery of the Regional Poison Control Center, said in the release. “We believe this is the first and only resource of its kind in Alabama and think this information is critical due the state’s amazing array of biodiversity.”
The app can also serve as a hotline to dial the Poison Center in an emergency by just clicking the app to dial the number.
That number is 1-800-222-1222.
Slattery said the app can save valuable time in an emergency as people don’t have to rely on memory, trying to describe an insect, plant, snake or household item in question, but instead have a picture before them.
The application was developed by Appsolute Genius, a boutique Birmingham software shop specializing in the development of custom mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android phone, and Android tablet devices.
Slattery said Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and UAB, helped make this happen.