New opportunities for reaching people with short messages about health-related topics are constantly emerging –and HHS is taking note. From the food safety tips tweeted by @FoodSafetygov to the text messages used by Text4Baby, brief messages on health topics are extremely popular. @FoodSafetygov has nearly 30,000 followers on Twitter, and Text4Baby has reached more than 500,000 moms since the program launched in 2010.
Hot on the heels of these successes, HHS is launching the TXT4Tots library to provide messages to parents about health and wellness of children ages 1 to 5.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently released the TXT4Tots library of messages in English and Spanish. The TXT4Tots library consists of approximately 250 brief, evidence-based messages on nutrition and physical activity. The messages are designed to educate and empower parents, caregivers, and health care providers. The TXT4Tots messages were developed through collaboration between HRSA and the American Academy of Pediatrics and are based on the Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents.
The TXT4Tots library is designed as a resource to be incorporated into a wide variety of existing or new programs and platforms. At HHS, we understand that there are multiple ways to use technology for health promotion, consumer education, and outreach. This library allows developers and entrepreneurs to use the data however they’d like. The TXT4Tots library is also available in API-enabled formats in English and Spanish, allowing for the seamless integration of TXT4Tots into mobile or other electronic platforms.
Some examples of nutrition and physical activity messages, which are available in both English and Spanish, include:
- Fighting a picky eater can be a real challenge, have your picky eater help you make the meal. Let them set the table or stir the vegetables.
- You are a great role model. Show your preschooler the healthy choices you make by snacking on fruits and veggies together.
- Activity idea! Play freeze dance. Put on your child’s favorite music and take turns turning it off and on!
The name TXT4Tots describes the library and does not necessarily imply the need for dissemination via text messaging. Although the TXT4Tots messages could be disseminated through text messages, they could also be distributed using a variety of channels. The messages can be incorporated into social media, websites and web services, mobile applications, email, print materials, product packaging, or other innovative distribution methods.