Anaphylaxis Policy - Nut Aware
Anaphylaxis Policy (Nut Aware)
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction which is potentially life-threatening. It should always be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment. Most cases occur after a person with a severe allergy is exposed to the allergen usually a food, insect sting or medication. The highest risk of anaphylaxis at school is considered to be in relation to food. As peanuts and tree nuts are the most likely foods to cause fatal anaphylaxis, this is the major focus of this policy.
It is expected that parents would inform the school of any relevant medical condition including anaphylaxis prior to starting school or as an allergen is identified. The parent of an anaphylactic child is required to ask their doctor or allergy specialist to complete a DfE Anaphylaxis Care Plan, DfE Individual First Aid Plan and DfE Medication Authority Form. The parent is then required to provide the plan to the school where a school leader and a support officer with first aid responsibility and the parent/s will meet to develop a school health support plan. This plan will include how an allergic reaction can be prevented, what should be done in the event of a reaction and medication that is required to be kept at school. Where required, anaphylaxis management training for staff (including Out of School Hours Care) who care for the child at risk will be undertaken. Copies of this plan will be kept, in the child’s school file, in the school’s First Aid files located in the First Aid area, in the class teachers files and at NPS OSHC (where relevant). A photo of the child will also be displayed in the first aid area with a brief description of the relevant medical condition. The ASCIA Anaphylaxis Action Plan and DECS Anaphylaxis and Severe Allergy Care Plan are required to be updated annually by a doctor
It is primarily the responsibility of parents to teach their allergic child to care for themselves. As per medical advice, blanket bans of foods are not recommended in schools because of the practicalities and complacency about avoidance strategies if food is banned. However, for junior primary classes where there is a student with a severe risk and on the advice of a doctor/specialist a blanket ban on all nut products may be enforced in a particular class. The main strategy at Nailsworth Primary is to promote a ‘Nut Aware’ school environment.
Through communication to parents including a Parent Handbook that is received at the time of enrolment, newsletters, class teacher letters to parents and posters around the school, parents will be encouraged not to send foods containing nuts to school. Other strategies aimed at minimising risk include encouraging no trading of food and sharing of food, food utensils and food containers, and requesting that drink bottles and lunch boxes are clearly labelled with the name of the child they are intended for.
Prior to conducting any class/school activity that involves the use of food including cooking classes, science activities, special events and fundraisers, a risk assessment is undertaken aimed at eliminating risk. This may result in the substitution of ingredients or alternative arrangements for relevant children.
For children with severe allergies, it is ideal that children should only eat lunches and snacks that have been prepared at home and through the development of the health care plan. A supply of treats will be negotiated with the parent for unplanned special events such as birthday cakes.