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Managing your child’s food allergy in High School - Webinar

Managing your child’s food allergy in High School settings

Join us to find out what Allergy Aware high schools should be doing to manage the risk of anaphylaxis.

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) is partnering with the National Allergy Strategy to hold a webinar about how to manage food allergies and anaphylaxis in high schools.

The webinar will include a short presentation from Dr Katie Frith, paediatric clinical immunology/allergy specialist and Dr Wendy Freeman from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia. The presentations will be followed by a live question and answer session where you can have your questions answered. Val Noble, a Clinical Nurse Consultant in allergy will also be available to answer questions.

Events Details:

When: Wednesday 4 May 2022
Where: Zoom

This webinar is one in a series of webinars being held by A&AA in partnership with the National Allergy Strategy. Visit the National Allergy Strategy’s Allergy Aware website for further information about the parent/carer webinar series.

Managing your child's food allergy in high school - Full webinar

My child has a green action plan, but the school isn’t taking it as seriously as the children who have a red action plan. What can parents do to liaise with the school?

There are best practice guidelines, but legally, what do schools have to do?

Can my child have an allergic reaction if another child, for example, had peanut butter on their hands and they were sharing some sport equipment?

Who provides the education to peers at school about allergies? Teachers? Or do parents go in?

Can you please give some examples of how food technology classes are managed. For example, if a child has an egg allergy, can it be expected that the whole class be egg free?

Our son possibly has food dependent exercise induced anaphylaxis to an unknown allergen (at the moment) there a suggested plan of reducing risk, considering exercise is in the curriculum for schools in regards to this type of anaphylaxis?

We have always sent food on camps, what is the best way to approach chefs and decide if they can feed your child safely?

The clinical view of ASCIA plans not expiring seems at odds with lots of schools. Who insists on a fresh plan every 12 months? Do you have any suggestions on managing the expectations of schools for this issue?

We recommend that you suggest the school read the information in the Best Practice Guidelines for Anaphylaxis Prevention and Management in Schools. Specifically, on page 10 it states If there is no change in the student’s allergy, the plan should be updated before the date specified by the student’s doctor or nurse practitioner on the current plan, usually every 12-18 months when they are reviewed by their doctor and receive a new adrenaline injector prescription. Specifically, there is no need to update the ASCIA Action Plan at the start of each school year. There is further information on page 22 of the implementation guide, which states: • Parents of students with an ASCIA Action Plan must provide a current copy of the ASCIA Action Plan to the school. • If no updated plan is available, the most recent ASCIA Action Plan can still be used but parents need to be instructed to see a doctor or nurse practitioner to update the ASCIA Action Plan as soon as possible. • ASCIA Action Plans do not expire, and therefore the plan is still valid beyond the date of review, which is a guide for patients to see their doctor or nurse practitioner.

How to approach a high school when your child has coeliac disease to explain what that involves in food technology situations or when they have a celebration, and everyone is eating food your child can’t eat. How can I help my teenager not feel left out and be picked on for eating differently to everyone else?

Like students with food allergy, students with coeliac disease must avoid certain foods. It is important that the school has strategies in place to be as inclusive as possible for all students. Food technology classes should have safe alternative options available for those with dietary exclusions. Schools should also have strategies in place to ensure those who are required to avoid certain foods can still be included in celebrations that involve food. They should give advance notice of such events so those with dietary restrictions can bring their own “safe” food. Information about this can be found in the risk minimisation strategies on the Allergy Aware website. Importantly, schools need to have student education programs in place to teach students about food allergies and coeliac disease. Peer education about the seriousness of food allergies may help prevent bullying. Incorporating peer education into health classes and other class activities (e.g. story time in the younger school years) can help support students with food allergy. Further information about this can be found on page 30 of the Best Practice Guidelines for Anaphylaxis Prevention and Management in Schools.


Katie Frith

Dr Katie Frith Katie is a paediatric immunologist and works at Sydney Children’s Hospital (SCH), Randwick. Katie is an active member of ASCIA, the peak professional body for immunologists in Australia and New Zealand. She is the current chair of the ASCIA anaphylaxis committee, chair of the 33rd ASCIA conference and a member of the ASCIA paediatric committee. She has recently been involved in the development of the ACSQHC Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard.  

Dr Wendy Freeman

Dr Wendy Freeman

As a general practitioner, Wendy completed post graduate training in allergy through the University of Western Sydney and worked in the allergy department at the Royal Melbourne Hospital until 2021. Wendy has been a volunteer for A&AA for 15 years and since 2021 has been employed as an A&AA Health Management Educator. Wendy is an associate member of ASCIA and a steering committee member of the National Allergy Strategy.

Two of Wendy’s three teenage children are at risk of anaphylaxis to multiple foods (egg, dairy, fish, kiwi fruit, sesame seed, cashew, and pistachio) giving her many years of experience with the daily management of food allergies.

Ms Valerie Noble

Val NobleValerie is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Allergy at the Perth Children’s Hospital. Val has been working in allergy since 2000 and has a keen interest in working with children and adolescents with allergy.

Val is the chair of the ASCIA Allergy Nurses Group and is a member of the National Allergy Strategy 250K youth project working group.