How does your school handle serious allergies?

  1. We are working on developing a clearer policy, but we've had several accidental exposures recently (they all turned out fine). We have some seriously allergic kids. I'd love to hear what your school policies are with anaphylactic kids and allergens on campus. Thanks!
  2. Visit adhrn711 profile page

    About adhrn711

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 9


  3. by   NurseLoveJoy88
    First we must have documentation from the MD that the student does allergies. Next we have the parent fill out an emergency procedure letter for the food allergy. This form gives us more details about the allergy. I.E. aggravating factors allieviating factors, what they want us to do first if an emergency occured. We also keep epi pens and bendryl in the HR just in case there was an anaphylactic reaction and we call 911. Teachers and staff who work with the student are educated and are taught how to use an epi pen and s/s to report. Some students will also sit at a peanut free table. Parents are never allowed to bring in cupcakes so school parties are never an issue. Most students with severe allergies have their lunch packed anyway.
    Hope this helps. I feel like I'm leaving something out but this is a basic summary of what we do. Each and every student is different so this is just a generic synopsis.
  4. by   bergren
    Just in case people don't have the Food Allergy Action Plan:

    Food Allergy Action Network Resources:

    Powers, J., Bergren, M.D. & Finnegan, L. (2007). Comparison of school food
    allergy emergency plans to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network's
    standard plan. Journal of School Nursing, 23, 252 - 258.

    ABSTRACT: Eighty-four percent of children with food allergies have a reaction in school, and 25% of first food reactions occur in schools. An evaluation was conducted comparing food allergy emergency plans to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network’s (FAAN) Food Allergy Action Plan.
    Of the 94 respondents, 60 provided food allergy emergency plans for comparison. Although twothirds used food allergy plans, only 15% used the current FAAN plan. Plans were missing essential components, including emergency contact information, medication administration instructions, and health history information. Current clinical guidelines provide the best prastices resource for personnel in charge of a food allergy reaction in school. Professional associations and state school health agencies must create and market a resource that provides easy, one-stop access to current best-practice guidelines and tool kits.
  5. by   pugmomrn
    I wrote our district's policy last summer-- based very largely on the FAAN School Food Allergy Program, with modifications only to fit into our systems here. See Martha's link above and explore that entire website-- all the info you need is right there.
  6. by   adhrn711
    thanks everyone!
  7. by   kermitlady
    I've been wondering about this myself d/t my youngest DS is allergic to tree nuts (cashews are deadly to him). What are the general school policies on epi-pens? Are the students allowed to keep them w/them? Are they kept in the child's classroom? Or just in the nurse's office?
  8. by   adhrn711
    What about field trips?
  9. by   kermitlady
    Quote from adhrn711
    What about field trips?
  10. by   bergren
    It depends on what state you are in if you can delegate epi administration.

    If you cannot, then an RN needs to go. You cannot prevent the child from attending, you can invite parent to go, but cannot require them to go.
  11. by   mama_d
    I'm not a school nurse, but thought I'd chime in with what my son's school does that I know of as a parent...

    His school is peanut-free for the most part. Kids are allowed to bring in lunches from home with peanut butter, snacks with peanuts or other nuts, etc. but in classrooms with kids with peanut allergies it's gently discouraged. One of his classmates this year is extremely allergic to peanuts and I'll buy snacks for DS on occasion that have peanuts in them...which DS refuses to take to school with him, bless his heart. "Mom, if Austin touched that, he could die...and he's autistic and doesn't know better, so my teacher says it's up to us to help him out and remember NO PEANUTS!"

    Each classroom has a small placard posted on the doorframe which lists which allergies kids in that room have. A note gets sent home at the beginning of the year and sometimes around party times reminding parents "We have a child with a XYZ allergy in our room, so please be considerate when sending snacks."

    I believe that the kids who are highest risk are allowed to have their epi-pens follow them around. DS came home from school last year upset b/c one of the kids had to have his teacher "stick his leg with a shot after he quit breathing after he ate a peanut". He was clear that it was not "Miss Monica", their nurse, who did it, although she was shortly on the scene according to him.
  12. by   bergren
    NASN is running a poll on this topic. If you would like to weigh in, go to the NASN home page and see Quick Poll in far right upper corner. I can report back with the results.

    The question:
    Does your district allow food from the outside (not from the school's cafeteria) for student holiday / birthday celebrations?
  13. by   Jolie
    Last edit by Jolie on Dec 6, '09