Anaphylaxis Management Policy

Rationale

The key to prevention of anaphylaxis in schools is knowledge of those students who have been diagnosed at risk, awareness of triggers (allergens), and prevention of exposure to these triggers. Partnerships between schools and parents are important in ensuring that certain foods or items are kept away from the student while at school.

Adrenaline given through an EpiPen® autoinjector to the muscle of the outer mid thigh is the most effective first aid treatment for anaphylaxis.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is:

  • To provide, as far as practicable, a safe and supportive environment in which students at risk of anaphylaxis can participate equally in all aspects of schooling at St Michael’s.
  • To raise awareness about anaphylaxis and St Michael’s anaphylaxis management policy in the school community.
  • To engage with parents/carers of students at risk of anaphylaxis in assessing risks,
  • To develop risk minimisation strategies and management strategies for the student.
  • To ensure that each St Michael’s staff member has adequate knowledge about allergies, anaphylaxis and the school’s policy and procedures in responding to an anaphylactic reaction.

Definitions

Anaphylaxis is a severe, rapidly progressive allergic reaction that is potentially life threatening. The most common allergens in school aged children are peanuts, eggs, tree nuts (e.g. cashews), cow’s milk, fish and shellfish, wheat, soy, sesame, latex, certain insect stings and medication.

Implementation

Individual Management Plan

The principal will ensure that an individual management plan is developed, in consultation with the student’s parents, for any student who has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner as being at risk of anaphylaxis.

The individual anaphylaxis management plan will be in place as soon as practicable after the student enrols and where possible before their first day of school.

The individual anaphylaxis management plan will set out the following:

  • Information about the diagnosis, including the type of allergy or allergies the student has (based on a diagnosis from a medical practitioner).
  • Strategies to minimise the risk of exposure to allergens while the student is under the care or supervision of school staff, for in-school and out of school settings including camps and excursions.   Note: Appendix 2 (pp 21 – 23) of the Anaphylaxis Guidelines for Victorian Government Schools contains advice about a range of prevention strategies that can be put in place.
  • The name of the person/s responsible for implementing the strategies.
  • Information on where the student’s medication will be stored.
  • The student’s emergency contact details.
  • An emergency procedures plan (ASCIA Action Plan), provided by the parent, that:-
  1. sets out the emergency procedures to be taken in the event of an allergic reaction;
  2.  is signed by a medical practitioner who was treating the child on the date the practitioner signs the emergency procedures plan; and - includes an up to date photograph of the student. Note: The red and blue ‘ASCIA Action Plan’ is the most common form of emergency procedures plan that is provided by medical practitioners to parents when a child is diagnosed as being at risk of anaphylaxis.   An example can be downloaded from http://www.sofweb.vic.edu.au/wellbeing/support/anaphyl.htm

The student’s individual management plan will be reviewed, in consultation with the student’s parents/ carers:

  • annually, and as applicable,
  • if the student’s condition changes, or
  • immediately after a student has an anaphylactic reaction at school.

It is the responsibility of the parent to:

  • provide the emergency procedures plan (ASCIA Action Plan).
  • inform the school if their child’s medical condition changes, and if relevant provide an updated emergency procedures plan (ASCIA Action Plan).
  • provide an up to date photo for the emergency procedures plan (ASCIA Action Plan) when the plan is provided to the school and when it is reviewed.

Communication Plan

St Michael’s will develop a communication plan which will include information about what steps will be taken to respond to an anaphylactic reaction by a student in a classroom, in the school yard, on school excursions, on school camps and special event days.  This will be published in the staff handbook each year and in the CRT package that they collect each time they work in the school.  In addition a copy of the Action Plan for Anaphylaxis and a copy of each student with anaphylaxis action plan will be included in the staff diary in the staffroom each semester.

Volunteers and casual relief staff of students at risk of anaphylaxis will be informed of students at risk of anaphylaxis and their role in responding to an anaphylactic reaction by a student in their care by the teacher in charge of the camp or excursion.

All staff will be briefed once each year by a qualified first aid instructor who has up to date.

anaphylaxis management training on:

  • an  anaphylaxis management policy
  • the causes, symptoms and treatment of anaphylaxis
  • how to use an auto adrenaline injecting device
  • St Michael’s first aid and emergency response procedures

In addition a copy of the DVD - “Anaphylaxis – recognizing and responding to anaphylaxis” can be borrowed from the library for staff reference or for the purpose of staff briefings.

Staff Training and Emergency Response

Teachers and other school staff who conduct classes which students at risk of anaphylaxis attend, or give instruction to students at risk of anaphylaxis will have up to date training in an anaphylaxis management training course.

At other times while the student is under the care or supervision of the school, including excursions, yard duty, camps and special event days, the principal must ensure that there is a sufficient number of staff present who have up to date training in an anaphylaxis management training course.

The principal has identified that all St Michael’s staff will be Anaphylaxis trained once a year.

Training will be provided to these staff as soon as practicable after the student enrols.

Wherever possible, training will take place before the student’s first day at school.  Where this is not possible, an interim plan will be developed in consultation with the parents.

St Michael’s first aid procedures and student’s emergency procedures plan (ASCIA Action Plan) will be followed in responding to an anaphylactic reaction.

Resources

Evaluation

This policy will be reviewed as part of St Michael’s five-year review cycle or as required.

Ratification

This policy was last ratified by the Education Board  in 2010.