Medication Placement at School*

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) advises schools and parents to work on implementing a range of strategies to help reduce the risk of an allergic reaction and protocols to streamline an emergency response when a student has an allergic reaction. Information on the strategies we encourage is freely available on our website You can also contact 1300 728 000 to discuss your situation.

A&AA encourages schools to have a medical kit containing adrenaline (epinephrine) injector/s (such as Anapen®, EpiPen®) and ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis for each child diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis.

It is not advised that children under the age of 10 years have the medication kit containing adrenaline injector on their person unless the child travels to school without an adult OR unless advised to do so by their treating doctor. Our reasons for this stance include (but are not limited to):

  • Children playing with their adrenaline injector when on the playground (even trust worthy children have reportedly shown their friends and either injected themselves or their friend with adrenaline)
  • Children playing with the device, activating it and then putting it back in the medical kit without telling anyone (When checking medication at a later date, adults have found activated devices which would have been useless in an emergency).
  • Children taking off their medical kit and leaving it somewhere without telling an adult (because it was ‘hot’ around their waist or they were teased).
  • The risk of possibly increasing anxiety in a child that thinks their medication MUST be right next to them (i.e. on them) at all times even when they have adults at school that are very aware.
  • The risk of a device being broken from playground activity and falls (these devices contain internal glass).

The above have been reported on numerous occasions.

Please contact the child’s doctor to discuss if you feel circumstances in your current allergy management plan are exceptional.

Once children are in Year 5 or 6 we encourage the transition of the child having their medication kit on their person in readiness for high school where they often get themselves to and from school without parent drop off/pick up, move from class to class and sometimes have activities off campus.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, those under the age of 10 years should have a medication kit kept in an easily accessible, central, unlocked location on the school grounds when the student is at school. All schools must have a system in place that gets the medication to the child quickly once the child shows signs and/or symptoms of an allergic reaction. For more information or suggestions on procedures and protocols in the primary school setting, please call 1300 728 000.

Please also review ASCIA (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy) adrenaline injector FAQs and ASCIA Action Plan FAQs

A&AA© 2016

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If you are having an allergic reaction follow advice on your ASCIA Action Plan.

If in doubt, give the Anapen® or EpiPen®.

Do not call us for emergency advice.

If you do not have an ASCIA Action Plan and/or an Anapen® or EpiPen® call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.