POLICY NO.: 5002 DATE APPROVED: 2000-04
The Board recognizes the importance of providing a safe and healthy learning environment. This includes a safer environment for all those who suffer from anaphylaxis. While it is impossible to create a risk free environment, important steps can be taken to minimize the potential of life threatening allergic reactions. School staff, parents/guardians, and students should work together to create a safer and healthier environment including those who suffer from Anaphylaxis within the limits created by legislation, school configuration, available staff and resources.
Anaphylaxis, also known as Aallergic shock@ or Ageneralized allergic reaction@, is a severe allergic reaction that can lead to rapid death if left untreated. Common causes include food, latex, insect stings, medication and exercise.
This policy is developed with the understanding that there is no such thing as an allergen free school. Within this context this policy is designed as an enabling framework of strategies and responsibilities for the development and maintenance of a safer learning environment for all students.
It is understood that anaphylactic students have needs which are specific to their medical condition. Therefore it is necessary to develop plans that meet the specific needs of each situation. The parent and the child share primary responsibility for avoiding the allergen. However, the development and maintenance of a safer environment for anaphylactic students are dependent on the cooperation and expertise of a variety of people. There are two parts to this section. The first part provides suggestions of reasonable expectations for the many contributors to a safer environment. The second part is a suggested list of concerns to be considered in the development of a school policy providing for a safer learning environment.
Contributors to a Safer Learning Environment
_ Have the child diagnosed by an allergy specialist.
_ Maintain open communication with the classroom teacher and school administration.
_ Inform the school of the child’s allergies.
_ Provide the school with physician’s instructions for the appropriate handling of the child.
_ Provide the school with up to date medication.
_ Check the condition and expiration date of the medication.
_ Ensure that the medication is taken home at the end of the school year.
_ Welcome other parent’s questions regarding safe foods.
_ Cooperate with the school in providing a safer learning environment for their child.
_ Meet with appropriate school personnel at the beginning of the school year.
_ Consider participation in parent advisory groups if requested.
_ Attend field trips and/or arrange for a backup vehicle when deemed necessary.
_ Review the child=s responsibilities with the child frequently.
_ Take as much responsibility as possible for avoiding allergens.
_ Eat only foods brought from home or approved by parents/guardians.
_ Take responsibility for checking labels and monitoring intake (older students).
_ Wash hands before and after eating.
_ Learn to recognize symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction.
_ Promptly inform an adult, as soon as an accidental exposure occurs or symptoms appear.
_ Diagnose the child with anaphylaxis.
_ Prescribe the specific treatment protocol.
Public Health Nurse
– Assist the teacher/school personnel to facilitate communication with the anaphylactic student and his/her parents.
_ Provide education and training to school personnel so that they may respond adequately and confidently to an anaphylactic emergency (Example: auto-injector training).
_ Assist with education to students and parents to increase awareness and understanding of anaphylaxis so that they may more readily participate in preventive activities (Example: hand washing before and after eating foods such as nuts, fish, etc.).
_ Assist with parent/teacher/principal to develop emergency response plans.
_ Maintain lines of open communication with parents/guardians.
_ Provide for appropriate medical alert cards with appropriate medical information.
_ Secure appropriate signatures affirming the accuracy of information.
_ Host meeting with appropriate personnel and students= parents to establish individual care plan. This meeting should be held at the beginning of the school year.
_ Consider the posting of medical alert posters in appropriate places (office, classroom, medical room, etc.) in consultation with parent.
_ Make appropriate staff aware of and be able to visually identify students who have potentially life-threatening allergies. This may include: teacher, custodians, school bus drivers, teacher on call, first aid attendant, parent volunteers, coaches and food services personnel.
_ Provide for an annual training session to appropriate personnel.
_ Develop an appropriate emergency response plan.
_ Store medications in easily accessible locations and ensure that staff is familiar with these locations.
_ Establish procedures for off site and extra curricular activities.
_ Establish disciplinary procedure (approach) for dealing with bullying and threats to affected student.
_ Provide opportunity to practice the emergency response plan.
_ Maintain an up to date list of emergency contacts and telephone numbers.
_ Inform parents/guardians that a student with life threatening allergies is attending the school and ask for their support.
_ Facilitate communication with the student and his/her parents/guardians.
_ Facilitate communication with other parents.
_ Help in the building of support for the anaphylactic child with her/his peers.
_ Maintain current information on the medical needs of the student.
_ Encourage students not to share lunches or trade snacks.
_ Select allergy free foods for classroom events.
_ Establish procedure for checking foods brought into the classroom.
_ Leave information in an organized, prominent and accessible format for teacher on call and other personnel including volunteers.
_ Participate in appropriate first aid training.
_ Respond cooperatively to requests from school to eliminate allergens from packed lunches and snacks.
_ Participate in parent information sessions.
_ Encourage their children to respect the anaphylactic student and the school policies.
_ Work with parents of anaphylactic students and outside resources to obtain information regarding foods for lunches and snacks.
_ Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction.
_ Avoid sharing food especially with anaphylactic students.
_ Follow school rules about keeping allergens out of the classroom and washing hands.
Developing a Safer Environment Implementation Plan
The following suggestions should be reviewed in the creation of a safer learning environment for an anaphylactic student.
Inside the Classroom
_ Anaphylactic students only eat the foods they bring from home.
_ Trading and sharing of food, cups, or straws is not allowed in the classroom.
_ Hand washing is encouraged before and after eating.
_ Desks or other eating surfaces are washed with soap and water before and after eating.
_ The teacher encourages students to follow the request to refrain from bringing allergenic foods.
_ Allergens brought into the classroom, by students or others, to be removed.
_ Students who bring allergenic foods to school be requested to eat those foods in another classroom.
_ The practice of bringing food to the classroom that is not in individual lunches be discouraged.
_ Allergenic foods or products not be used in crafts and activities.
Outside the Classroom
_ Specific questions on the field trip permission form should address the existence of anaphylactic reactions.
_ Review of emergency plans with all appropriate personnel (teachers, school bus drivers, volunteers, etc.) prior to the field trip.
_ Parents/guardians be encouraged to attend the activity.
_ Appropriate medicine(s) should be carried on all field trips involving anaphylactic students.
_ School bus drivers must be alerted about the existence of anaphylactic students and consideration given to providing appropriate training.
_ Students restricted from eating or drinking while travelling on the bus.
_ Plans are in place to provide emergency transportation.
_ Request of ingredient list if foods are ordered in from commercial sources.
_ Food handling/preparation areas are kept clean.
_ The anaphylactic student does not eat anything that is not from the student=s home without written authorization by parents/guardians.
_ Anaphylactic student excused from involvement with clean-up duties.