Parent 10 - point Plan for School*
- Notify the school about your child’s allergy as early as possible. Be clear about which foods, insect bites or stings or other allergens may trigger an anaphylactic reaction in your child. Assist them with details on where to access training and further information. Communicate effectively with school staff without being demanding. Negotiate a way forward that supports the needs of everyone involved.
- Provide the school with an individualised ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis signed by your treating doctor. This includes details of prescribed medications such as adrenaline (epinephrine) injector (such as Anapen®, EpiPen®) plus/minus antihistamines and asthma medication.
- Supply necessary medication and ensure it is clearly labelled, stored in a place that is easily accessible (not in a locked cupboard) and out of direct heat and sunlight. A copy of their ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis must always be kept in their emergency kit with their adrenaline injector.
- Visit the school and enquire about potential risks. e.g. Is the school aware of state government guidelines? Has the school got an Individual Healthcare plan in place? What strategies has the school implemented to reduce the risk of allergic reactions?
For management strategies see A&AA’s Risk Minimisation Strategies Discussion Paper.
- Ensure teachers and other staff are aware of prevention strategies and ensure they are implemented. Plan ahead for special events such as excursions, sports days and class parties.
- Work with the school to develop a management plan and ensure an anaphylaxis educator trains staff members in the recognition, management and emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. Ensure staff practise with an adrenaline injector training device at regular intervals throughout the school year. Refer to A&AA’s Who should be trained Discussion Paper.
- When your child is young, teach them not to accept food from others unless mum or dad checks it. Provide the child with a lunchbox of safe food that is clearly labelled and remind them not to swap/share food with friends.
- Be creative in providing safe food treats for your child. Ask the school to store a batch of your safe cupcakes (in a container and clearly labelled) in the canteen freezer so your child can join in with birthday celebrations. Ask the school to consider non-food rewards such as stickers and stamps.
- As your child’s understanding of their allergy increases slowly encourage them to become more and more independent. Remind them to always take their medication to school.
- Check and record expiry dates of adrenaline injectors and ensure each unit is replaced prior to expiry.
Content created January 2020