Allergy Management Policy
LITTLE GEORGIES, KINDERGARTEN – YEAR 12
This policy is concerned with the whole school approach to the health care and management of those members of the School community suffering from specific allergies.
The School position is not to guarantee a completely allergen free environment, rather: to minimise the risk of exposure, encourage self responsibility, and plan for effective response to possible emergencies.
The School is committed to proactive risk allergy management through:
- the encouragement of self-responsibility and learned avoidance strategies amongst students suffering allergies.
- provision of a rigorous staff education / training programme on anaphylaxis.
- the establishment and documentation of a comprehensive management plan for the management of special student health needs.
- the establishment of specific risk exposure minimisation practices and strategies wherever required within the School operations.
- close liaison with parents of students who suffer allergies.
- a focus on the development of a sensitive and caring compassionate community, including regular newsletter communication with the parent body seeking support of the School's approach.
This management approach is congruent with contemporary specialist medical advice, and the School believes educating students to self manage their condition is a skill attuned to their ’real world’ situation.
The School recognises that a number of community members (students and staff) suffer from potentially life threatening allergies to certain foods or toxins from insects. The School seeks parent, staff and contractor support towards maintaining a minimised risk environment, whilst also concentrating on ensuring effective medical response to potential anaphylactic episodes.
The intent of this policy is to minimise the risk of any student suffering allergy-induced anaphylaxis whilst at school or attending any school related activity, and to ensure staff are properly prepared to manage such emergency situations should they arise.
The common causes of allergies relevant to this policy are nuts, (in particular peanuts), dairy products, eggs, wasps, bees and ants. The allergy to nuts is the most common high risk allergy, and as such demands more rigorous controls throughout the policy than the controls for allergies to dairy products, eggs and wasps, bees and ants.
The School is also aware of the stresses imposed on parents, teachers and carers, with the potential for anaphylactic reaction in children for whom they have a responsibility. To this end, the provision of procedures and systems to effectively manage such stress is also an aim of this policy.
The underlying principles of the School policy include:
- the pro-active establishment of effective risk management practices to minimise student, staff, parents’ and visitors’ exposure to known trigger foods and insects.
- staff training and education to ensure an effective emergency response to any allergic reaction situation.
- a rigorous, but age-appropriate student education program on allergy awareness and self responsibility.
||A condition in which the body has an exaggerated response to a substance (e.g. food or drug). Also known as hypersensitivity.
|| A normally harmless substance that triggers an allergic reaction in the immune system of a susceptible person.
||Anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock, is a sudden, severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to food, stings, bites, or medicines. (More detail of symptoms is posted on common room walls and in Health Management Plans).
||Brand name for syringe style device containing the drug Adrenalin which is ready for immediate inter-muscular administration.
|| An environment where risk management practices have minimised the risk of (allergen) exposure to a reasonable level. Not an allergen risk free environment.
A detailed document outlining an individual students’ condition, treatment, and action plan for location of EpiPen.
|Management System -
A record system managed by Heads of School which describes the individual student medical care plans and the particular teachers / coaches who will need to be trained and informed of these plans.
KEY STRATEGIES, PROCEDURES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- The establishment of clear procedures and responsibilities to be followed by staff and management in meeting the needs of students with additional medical needs.
- The involvement of parents, staff and the student in establishing individual Student Medical Care Plans.
- The establishment and maintenance of a Management System for effectively communicating individual student medical plans to all relevant teachers, education assistants, and coaches.
- The incorporation of allergy management strategies into the risk assessments for all School events, excursions and sporting activities.
- Staff training in anaphylaxis management, including awareness of triggers and first aid procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency.
- Age appropriate education of the children with the severe food allergies.
- Parents requested to carefully consider eliminating allergenic food stuffs from their child’s lunch boxes and for celebratory events.
Nut related Aspects.
- The School Cafe, Cliff’s Kitchen, parent support groups and outside caterers all made aware of the risk minimisation policy and requested to eliminate nuts and food items with nuts as ingredient from their operations.
This does not extend to those foods labelled “may contain traces of nuts”. Parental responsibility to build self management skills within their allergy suffering children is promoted by the School.
- Age appropriate education of the children with the severe nut allergies - peanut and tree nut.
Dairy and Egg related Aspects.
- Students with dairy product or egg allergies are managed by the School in consultation with the parents on a case by case basis.
- Age appropriate education of the children with the severe dairy/egg allergies.
Insect related Aspects.
- Diligent management of wasp and ant nests on campus. This must include the effective system for staff reporting to management, and a system of timely response for eradicating nests.
- Education of students to report any above normal presence of bees in play areas.
- Age appropriate education of the children with the severe insect allergies.
Procedures and Responsibilities for Allergy Management
1)Medical Information (persons responsible are in Bold text)
- Parents are responsible for providing ongoing accurate and current medical information in writing to the School. The School will seek updated information via a medical form at the commencement of each calendar year, to which parents are required to respond. Furthermore, should a child develop a condition during a year, or have a change in condition the parents must advise the School of the fact, and details to be clarified accordingly in the individual action plan.
- For students with an allergic condition, the School requires the parent/s to provide written advice from a doctor (GP), which explains the condition, defines the allergy triggers and any required medication. Whilst the School will coordinate such information, the Heads of School are responsible for ensuring this occurs in their respective areas.
- The Principal will ensure there is an effective system to ensure this medical information is regularly updated into the School database.
- The Heads of School will ensure that a Health Management Plan (Action Plan) is established and updated for each child with a known allergy.
- The Heads of School will ensure the establishment and maintenance of a management system which records; the health management plans relevant to their respective areas, and the specific teachers/ coaches / areas of the school who need to be informed of these plans and trained in the emergency response required.
Teachers and education assistants of those students and key staff are required to review and familiarise themselves with the medical information.
- Student medical conditions and health management plans with a recent photograph for any students with allergies are posted in the staff common room, and the Administration area.
- Where students with known allergies are participating in camps and/or excursions, the risk assessments and safety management plans for those camps and excursions must include the students individual allergy Health Management Plan. Furthermore, teaching staff in control of such camps or excursions must ensure they or another staff member is trained in the use of the EpiPen and capable of managing an anaphylaxis reaction.
The School’s excursion planning and preparation forms require that the risk assessment is complete prior to approval.
- The Head of PE will ensure that relevant sports coaches are provided with medical information and the individual student Health Management Plan for any student with a known allergy, prior to the commencement of each season.
The wearing of a medic- alert bracelet is recommended by the School.
Where EpiPens (Adrenalin) are required in the health plan:
- Parent/s are responsible for provision and timely replacement of the EpiPens, in all sections of the School.
- The Parent/s will advise the school when the replacement of medication for primary and secondary students is due.
- The EpiPens are located securely and are to be clearly labelled with the student’s name.
Whilst EpiPens are the individual’s responsibility, the School will keep an EpiPen suitable for children in emergencies.
- Secondary students are permitted to carry their EpiPen, and if so are responsible for its security at all times.
- The School will ensure those teaching staff and non teaching staff working with students with allergies, are trained in the use of EpiPens, and that records of such training are maintained.
3)Minimised Nut Environment
The School will promote the following food allergy information through; the intranet, parent handbook, and letters to all primary families (to both parents in the situation where families are separated) of students in any class which has a student suffering an allergy.
Where food is brought from home
Parents are strongly encouraged to pack student lunches that do not contain:
- nuts of any type.
- foods with peanut or nut derivative or ingredient (e.g. Nutella).
Advertising of the fact that some products may contain traces of peanut is a feature of School newsletters and tuckshop menus.
It is the responsibility of the Food Technology teachers to check the student medical condition information, and be prepared for emergency response as per the individuals’ health management plan.
The use of peanuts and peanut oils (and groundnut oil) must be avoided.
If nuts other than peanuts, or oils and sauces that are likely to contain other nut ingredients are to be used in a cooking class, there must be a risk management plan in place which minimises the chance of accidental exposure.
Cafe management shall be consulted and work with School management in presenting foods under the following guidelines:
- No peanuts.
- No nuts of any type.
- No foods with peanut or nut derivative or ingredient (e.g. nutella). This also eliminates the risk of cross contamination via preparation utensils.
- No peanut oils to be used in cooking process.
- It is not expected that Cafe management be aware of all possible contamination of foods through processes prior to purchase. It is possible therefore that foods labelled “may contain traces of nuts” can be served.
- Parents are expected to make themselves aware of Cafe foods and train their children to avoid any products they consider ‘unsafe’.
- The teacher in charge shall check with any food provider and ensure ‘safe’ food is provided, or that an effective control is in place to minimise risk of exposure.
- Where a student is prescribed EpiPen the teacher in charge shall ensure they or another supervising staff member is trained in the use of the EpiPen, and capable of performing any possible required medical treatment as outlined in the student’s special medical plan.
- The teacher in charge shall ensure the EpiPen is taken on the excursion, and will be responsible for its security.
- In severe cases, especially in the early years, a parent may be required to attend the excursion/camp.
4)Student / Staff / Parent Education
(Staff includes: teachers, education assistants, coaches, extra-curricula directors, tutors and
Parents of students with allergies are requested to be involved with the School in developing individual student health care plans. They are also encouraged to contribute to general educational materials to be shared with the School community.
The School will communicate allergy awareness to the community via:
- Effective promotion of this policy to all GMAS community.
- Staff training on and about the specified allergies and the use of the student health management plans.
- Staff training on EpiPen use, and identification of symptoms of allergic reaction and anaphylaxis.
- Talks to all staff at meetings, including admin staff and teachers.
- A structured programme to ensure teachers talk directly with students in class. These sessions should include reminder not to share food and the fact some food products indicate “possibility of traces of peanuts”.
- Specific explanation of this policy with the Cafe manager and relevant aspects of this policy to be included in their procedures manual.
- Specific NO NUTS or NUT PRODUCTS information must be conveyed to catering companies engaged, however responsibility should be with parents and their children.
- Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Inc.
- The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.