NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Food allergies can be deadly and cause plenty of anxiety for parents.
Now, a free app can help manage your children's allergies.
Mother Susie Hultquist had so many questions the day her daughter Natalie was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy.
"How do I read a food label? How do I actually grocery shop? What should I do in my home?" she told CBS2's Alex Denis.
She found herself spending hours trying to understand it all.
"Even if it's 15 minutes a day you have to spend on your food allergies, that's equal to a year of someone's life," she said.
Now, she's a mom on a mission.
"I was pretty convinced my daughter needed this tool and it wasn't out there. And if I didn't do it, I wasn't sure who would," she said.
Hultquist left her high-profile job managing stocks and created the app SPOKIN, a tailor-made tool used to easily manage allergies.
The app allows users to select different food allergies. Can't have dairy? Intolerant to gluten? Add it to your profile.
Customize it further by adding a location and interests. The app compiles a list of top-rated businesses and brands that cater to the selected restrictions.
"So you can go to the app and look up New York and see in one second all the places other people have recommended," said Hultquist. "Or check in Paris, or London, or Chicago – or anywhere."
Explore restaurants, products with food labels, airlines, hotels and schools to see how they rank in a matter of minutes. It's a networking app, too, so you can connect with others affected by allergies, share recipes and gain support.
"It's opening up a world. Our mission is to help people live the fullest life possible and also be safe," Hultquist said.
There are similar apps on the market, like Allergy Eats and Shop Well, but remember they aren't meant to substitute professional medical advice.
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