This policy is concerned with a whole school approach to the health care and management of those members of our community suffering from specific allergies.
We are aware that our children may suffer from food, bee/ wasp sting, animal or nut allergies and we believe that all allergies should be taken seriously and dealt with in a professional and appropriate way.
Our 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.
We are committed to no food and drink sharing.
Parents/caregivers are asked to provide details of allergies in the child’s School Admissions Forms, which are submitted before starting school.
The intent of this policy is to minimise the risk of any child suffering allergy-induced anaphylaxis whilst at school.
An allergic reaction to nuts is the most common high risk allergy, and as such demands more rigorous controls throughout the policy.
The underlying principles of this policy include;
The establishment of effective risk management practices to minimise the child, staff, family member and visitor exposure to known trigger foods and insects.
Staff training and education to ensure effective emergency response to any allergic reaction situation.
This policy applies to all members of the school community:
Allergy - A condition in which the body has an exaggerated response to a substance (e.g. food and drug) also known as hypersensitivity.
Allergen - A normally harmless substance that triggers an allergic reaction in the immune system of a susceptible person.
Anaphylaxis - Anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock, is a sudden, severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to food, stings, bites, or medicines.
EpiPen - Brand name for syringe style device containing the drug Adrenalin, which is ready for immediate inter-muscular administration.
Minimized Risk Environment- An environment where risk management practices (e.g. Risk assessment forms) have minimised the risk of (allergen) exposure.
Health Care Plan - A detailed document outlining an individual child’s condition treatment, and action plan for location of EpiPen.
Procedures and Responsibilities for Allergy Management
The involvement of parents/caregivers and staff in establishing individual Health Care Plans.
The establishment and maintenance of practices for effectively communicating a child’s healthcare plan to all relevant staff.
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 severe food allergies.
The school will seek updated information via medical form at the commencement of each calendar year.
Furthermore, any change in a child’s medical condition during the year must be reported to the school.
For children with an allergic condition, the school requires parents/care givers to provide written advice from a doctor (GP), which explains the condition, defines the allergy triggers and any required medication.
The Headteacher will ensure that a Health Care Plan is established and updated for each child with a known allergy.
All members of staff are required to review and familiarise themselves with the medical information.
Where children with known allergies are participating in school excursions, the risk assessments must include this information.
Medical Information (EpiPens)
Where EpiPens (Adrenalin) are required in the Health Care Plan:
Parents/caregivers are responsible for the provision and timely replacement of the EpiPens.
The EpiPens are located securely in relevant locations approved by the Headteacher.
EpiPens will be located so that all adults involved with the child know where they are at all times.
The Role of Parents/caregivers
Parents/caregivers are responsible for providing, in writing, on-going accurate and current medical information to the school.
Parents/caregivers are to send a letter and meet with the school to confirm and detail the nature of the allergy; including:
The allergen (the substance the child is allergic to)
The nature of the allergic reaction (from rash, breathing problems to anaphylactic shock)
What to do in case of allergic reaction, including any medication to be used and how it is to be used.
Control measures – such as how the child can be prevented from getting into contact with the allergen.
If a child has an allergy requiring an EpiPen a Health Care Plan must be completed and signed by the parents/caregivers.
It is the responsibility of the parents/caregivers to provide the school with up to date medication / equipment clearly labelled in the original packaging.
In the case of life saving medication like EpiPens the child will not be allowed to attend without it.
Parents/caregivers are also required to provide up to date emergency contact information.
Snacks and lunches brought into school are provided by each child‘s Parent/caregiver.
It is their responsibility to ensure that the contents are safe for the child to consume.
Parents/caregivers should liaise with Staff about appropriateness of snacks and any food-related activities (e.g. cooking)
The Role of Staff
Staff are responsible for familiarising themselves with the policy and to adhere to health & safety regulations regarding food and drink.
If a child’s School Admissions Form states that they have an allergy then a Health Care Plan is needed. A risk assessment should be carried out and any actions identified to be put in place. The Assessment should be stored with the child’s Health Care Plan.
Upon determining that a child attending school has a severe allergy, a team meeting will be set up as soon as possible where all staff concerned attend to update knowledge and awareness of the child's needs.
All staff who come into contact with the child will be made aware of what treatment/medication is required by the Headteacher or Inclusion Team and where any medication is stored.
All staff are to promote hand washing before and after eating.
Snack time foods are monitored by staff and are peanut, nut free and other allergens depending on the children attending. All staff should know the procedures at snack and lunch time to ensure the safety of children with allergies.
However staff cannot guarantee that foods will not contain traces of nuts.
All tables are cleaned with an approved solution.
Children are not permitted to share food.
We provide specific EpiPen use training.
We may ask parents/caregivers for a list of food products and food derivatives the child must not come into contact with.
Emergency medication should be easily accessible, especially at times of high risk.
Staff should liaise with parents/caregivers about snacks and any food-related activities.
In the event of a child suffering an allergic reaction:
We will delegate someone to contact the child’s parents/caregivers.
If a child becomes distressed or symptoms become more serious telephone 999.
Keep calm, make the child feel comfortable and give the child space.
If medication is available it will be administered as per training and in conjunction with the Supporting Children with Medical Conditions Policy.
If parents/caregivers have not arrived by the time an ambulance arrives, a member of staff will accompany the child to hospital.
If a child is taken to hospital by car, two members of staff will accompany them.
Role of other parents/caregivers
Snacks and lunches brought into the school by other parents/caregivers should be peanut and nut free wherever possible.
The school will ensure that parents/caregivers are regularly reminded and will monitor the contents of lunch boxes and snacks.
Our current school lunch provider has their own policy for food allergies. Parents/caregivers are required to make an appointment with the School Cook and provide a current medical letter stating the allergy of their child.