Keeping your loved ones safe is important, but with busy lives, it’s easy to miss vital information about product recalls and safety updates on the foods and products you use every day. This is why Harvard Law School alum Lauren Bell created the recall app Whystle.
What Is Whystle?
Bell spent years working for the United States Department of Justice and saw how outdated product safety standards impacted people’s lives. And, as a working mother of four, she understood how parents get pulled in many different directions and can easily miss things. So she designed the Whystle app to help people stay on top of alerts and updates on the products they use most.
“Whystle allows parents to customize safety information to their individual circumstances — such as kids’ ages, allergies, pets, etcetera — so they receive a feed of the information most important to them,” she says. “This feature is extremely useful for busy parents who want to make sure they are on top of the latest safety information, but who don’t have time to sift through multiple news sources daily to stay on top of it all.”
Do You Really Need It?
Not even the most obsessive person has the time to parse through product updates and news stories about every single item they use every single day. That can be problematic. Consider these stats:
- Each year, around 11 million Americans are hospitalized from accidents involving consumer
products. This includes over 1.5 million hospitalizations of children under the age of 5.
- The CDC notes that 1 in 6 Americans is infected by a foodborne illness each year, leading to an estimated 128,000
- FoodAllergy.org notes that 32 million Americans are living with a serious food allergy, including 5.6 million children under the age of 18. Food allergies are the leading cause of anaphylaxis treated in emergency rooms, with more than 200,000 cases requiring emergency treatment each year.
“Working parents or parents who don’t have time to piece together safety information and want the information easily accessible and searchable will benefit most from Whystle,” Bell explains.
How to Use Whystle
The app is only available in the Apple Store right now. Users can download it (only in the Apple Store for now), then create their user profile to receive personalized alerts that are tailored to their needs.
For example, a pet parent may enter in the details of the cat food they normally buy and expectant parents may enter the new stroller they registered for. The app will then alert them if there are any updates regarding information they’ve entered into their profile, or anything that they might have at home based on the details they have provided.
As an added bonus, the app will then walk you through what to do to get your money back if you already own any items that are being recalled.
“Parents can also use Whystle to help them identify brands that have iffy track records,” Bell says. “[You] can receive personalized recall and safety information as well as track brands to help them make informed buying decisions.”
The app costs $5.99 a month, or $23.99 for the year, which saves you $2.00 per month. Users get a free 7-day trial, and they can cancel at any time.