Critical Allergy Management Policy

Download Critical Allergy Management Policy

Background

Allergy occurs when a person's immune system reacts to substances in the environment that do not bother most people. The substances are known as allergens.

Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction and is potentially life-threatening. It is sometimes called 'allergic shock' and occurs after exposure to an allergen (such as food, pollens, insect sting, medicine) to which the child is already extremely sensitive. Anaphylaxis affects the entire body. In the general population about 1 in every 200 children will develop an anaphylactic reaction at some time, most often due to a food allergy. Peanuts are the most common allergen causing anaphylaxis in school children.

The amount of an allergen needed to trigger anaphylaxis is variable. In some cases superficial contact with the skin, mouth, or eye or inhaling airborne particles can trigger a significant reaction. A tiny fragment of peanut can be enough.

The most common known causes of allergic reaction are:

  • Food – most commonly peanuts, tree nuts, seeds, fish and crustaceans, milk, soy, eggs or wheat
  • Medication - painkillers and antibiotics
  • Insect stings – bees, wasps, ants

 

Policy

The school will provide a safe and supportive environment which addresses, to the extent possible, reduction of the risks of exposure to known allergens. This includes ensuring that the health care needs of the student are identified and managed at the school and during off-site activities.

Parents/Carers will be responsible for the provision of accurate, up to date health information about their child, an Epipen (if required) and for ensuring that medication has not expired.

Staff will provide discreet supervision.

 

Guidelines

Enrolment procedures will be designed to ensure parents are aware of the need to identify any critical allergies their child may have

Each child identified as having a critical allergy will have an individual emergency management plan developed by the school, in conjunction with the parent, and signed by the parent/carer.

All teaching and non-teaching staff will be informed when a child with severe allergic reactions and possible anaphylaxis is attending their school. This includes canteen staff where the triggers are food.

Advise all supervisory adults, where there is an allergen risk, through the provision of photo identification and allergy/treatment details that are:

  • Kept in teachers' duty folders;
  • The canteen (for food allergies); and,
  • In the staff room and classroom of identified children.

Teaching and non-teaching staff are provided with appropriate training, on an annual basis, to administer health care in a medical emergency. This includes administration of an Epipen. (Staff will be able to indicate to the principal that they are not confident to administer health care or medical procedures and may decline to participate in training opportunities.)

The school to issue a reminder to parents about critical allergy management, each term, through the newsletter.

Teachers to advise school administration where they are aware of children who regularly bring foods with identified allergens to school, for administration follow-up.

Teachers to develop and manage appropriate learning programmes about allergies and anaphylaxis.

 

Capacity Building

School to develop classroom resources that support awareness and understanding of allergies and anaphylaxis.

Information and advice about allergies and anaphylaxis be included in the school's Parent Information Booklet.

Regular items in the school's Newsletter to maintain awareness of allergies and anaphylaxis.

 

Policy Review

The policy, and its effectiveness, is to be reviewed June 2007.

 

Actions and Strategies

Food Allergies

The school will reduce the risk of exposure to severe food allergens by:

  • Utilising a communication and preventative education strategy that:
    • informs the student’s peers, other staff and members of the school community of the medical condition and possible impacts of the condition; and
    • encourages parents of all children to remove the particular food allergen from their child's school-based diet.
    through parent meetings, led by health professionals, about allergies and anaphylaxis; newsletter items; classroom learning programmes; and individual conversations.
  • Removing the food allergen from the school canteen’s menu.
  • Encouraging parents to provide safe snacks and treats to enable the child with allergies to participate in birthday celebrations and curriculum related activities at school.
  • Requiring the parents of the child with the allergy to provide drink containers and lunch boxes which are clearly labelled with the name of the child.
  • Restricting the use of food in crafts, cooking classes and science experiments, depending on the allergies of particular children. Taking care with inadvertent use of artwork materials such as milk containers, egg cartons, nutshells and eggshells.
  • Encouraging children who have used an allergen to wash their hands directly after contact.

The parents of the child will reduce the risk of exposure to severe food allergens by educating their child on:

  • The possible foodstuffs that they can reasonably expect to find the allergen in and how to avoid them
  • The dangers of swapping food with other children
  • The signs of the onset of an allergic reaction (where practicable).

 

Medication Allergies

  • Advising parents that children should not bring any medication to school (prescription and nonprescription) without prior arrangement with the class teacher or the school administration.
  • Maintaining all medications in a locked cabinet and having parents complete the appropriate Medication Form (unless indicated otherwise in a child’s individual plan).

 

Insect Sting Allergies

The school will reduce the risk of exposure to severe insect allergens by:

  • Regularly monitoring the school grounds for infestations of identified allergen insects.
  • Having infestations reported to the school administration immediately (with relevant children advised) and having the treatment of infestations followed up promptly.
  • Altering the school 'environment', where practicable, to prevent re-infestations occurring.