Anaphylaxis Management Policy


 

Purpose:

 

The purpose of this policy is to explain to Laburnum Primary School parents, carers, staff and students the processes and procedures in place to support students diagnosed as being at risk of suffering from anaphylaxis. This policy also ensures that Laburnum Primary School is compliant with Ministerial Order 706 and the Department’s guidelines for anaphylaxis management.

 

Scope:

 

This policy applies to:

  • all staff, including casual relief staff and volunteers
  • all students who have been diagnosed with anaphylaxis, or who may require emergency treatment for an anaphylactic reaction, and their parents and carers.

 

Policy:

 

School Statement

 

Laburnum Primary School will fully comply with Ministerial Order 706 and the associated guidelines published by the Department of Education and Training. In addition, Laburnum Primary School will

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

The key reference and support for the school regarding anaphylaxis is the DET Anaphylaxis Guidelines.

 

Anaphylaxis

 

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that occurs after exposure to an allergen. The most common allergens for school-aged children are nuts, eggs, cow’s milk, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, sesame, latex, certain insect stings and medication.

 

Symptoms

 

Signs and symptoms of a mild to moderate allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling of the lips, face and eyes
  • hives or welts
  • tingling in the mouth.

Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, can include:

  • difficult/noisy breathing
  • swelling of tongue
  • difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
  • wheeze or persistent cough
  • persistent dizziness or collapse
  • student appears pale or floppy
  • abdominal pain and/or vomiting.

Symptoms usually develop within ten minutes and up to two hours after exposure to an allergen, but can appear within a few minutes.

 

Treatment

 

Adrenaline given as an injection into the muscle of the outer mid-thigh is the first aid treatment for anaphylaxis.

 

Individuals diagnosed as being at risk of anaphylaxis are prescribed an adrenaline autoinjector for use in an emergency. These adrenaline autoinjectors are designed so that anyone can use them in an emergency.

 

Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plans

 

All students at Laburnum Primary School who are diagnosed by a medical practitioner as being at risk of suffering from an anaphylactic reaction must have an Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan. When notified of an anaphylaxis diagnosis, the Principal of Laburnum Primary School is responsible for developing a plan in consultation with the student’s parents/carers.

 

Where necessary, an Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan will be in place as soon as practicable after a student enrols at Laburnum Primary School and where possible, before the student’s first day.

 

Parents and carers must:

  • obtain an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis from the student’s medical practitioner and provide a copy to the school as soon as practicable
  • immediately inform the school in writing if there is a relevant change in the student’s medical condition and obtain an updated ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis
  • provide an up-to-date photo of the student for the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis when that Plan is provided to the school and each time it is reviewed
  • provide the school with a current adrenaline autoinjector for the student that has not expired;
  • participate in annual reviews of the student’s Plan.

Each student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan must include:

  • information about the student’s medical condition that relates to allergies and the potential for anaphylactic reaction, including the type of allergies the student has
  • information about the signs or symptoms the student might exhibit in the event of an allergic reaction based on a written diagnosis from a medical practitioner
  • strategies to minimise the risk of exposure to known allergens while the student is under the care or supervision of school staff, including in the school yard, at camps and excursions, or at special events conducted, organised or attended by the school
  • the name of the person(s) responsible for implementing the risk minimisation strategies, which have been identified in the Plan
  • information about where the student's medication will be stored
  • the student's emergency contact details
  • an up-to-date ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis completed by the student’s medical practitioner.

Review and updates to Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plans

 

A student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis in consultation with the student’s parents/carers. The plan will also be reviewed and, where necessary, updated in the following circumstances:

  • as soon as practicable after the student has an anaphylactic reaction at school
  • if the student’s medical condition, insofar as it relates to allergy and the potential for anaphylactic reaction, changes
  • when the student is participating in an off-site activity, including camps and excursions, or at special events including fetes and concerts.

Our school may also consider updating a student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan if there is an identified and significant increase in the student’s potential risk of exposure to allergens at school.

 

Location of plans and adrenaline

 

A copy of each student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan will be stored with their ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis at Laburnum Primary School, in the First Aid Room, together with the student’s adrenaline autoinjector. Adrenaline autoinjectors must be labelled with the student’s name.

 

A general use EpiPen will be stored in the First Aid Room, hanging on the wall, for ease of access.

 

Risk Prevention and Minimisation Strategies

 

School Staff are reminded that they have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect a student in their care from risks of injury that are reasonably foreseeable. The development and implementation of appropriate prevention strategies to minimise the risk of incidents of anaphylaxis is an important step to be undertaken by School Staff when trying to satisfy this duty of care. To reduce the risk of a student suffering from an anaphylactic reaction at Laburnum Primary School, we will:

 

Classrooms
1. Keep a copy of the student's Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan in the classroom. Be sure the ASCIA Action Plan is easily accessible even if the Adrenaline Autoinjector is kept in another location.
2. Liaise with Parents about food-related activities ahead of time.
3.

Parents should not provide food treats for their children to share at school. It is recommended to use non-food treats or none at all.

4. Never give food from outside sources to a student who is at risk of anaphylaxis.
5. Products labelled 'may contain traces of nuts' should not be served to students allergic to nuts. Products labelled ‘may contain milk or egg’ should not be served to students with milk or egg allergy and so forth.
6. Be aware of the possibility of hidden allergens in food and other substances used in cooking, food technology, science and art classes (e.g. egg or milk cartons, empty peanut butter jars).
7.

Ensure all cooking utensils, preparation dishes, plates, and knives and forks etc are washed and cleaned thoroughly after preparation of food and cooking.

8. Have regular discussions with students about the importance of washing hands, eating their own food and not sharing food.
9.

A designated staff member should ensure CRT folders are updated to inform casual relief teachers, specialist teachers and volunteers of the names of any students at risk of anaphylaxis, the location of each student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan and Adrenaline Autoinjector, the School’s Anaphylaxis Management Policy, and each individual person’s responsibility in managing an incident i.e. seeking a trained staff member.

 

Yard
1. If a School has a student who is at risk of anaphylaxis, sufficient School Staff on yard duty must be trained in the administration of the Adrenaline Autoinjector (i.e. EpiPen®/ Anapen®) to be able to respond quickly to an anaphylactic reaction if needed.
2. The Adrenaline Autoinjector and each student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan are easily accessible from the yard, and staff should be aware of their exact location. (Remember that an anaphylactic reaction can occur in as little as a few minutes).
3. Schools must have a Communication Plan in place so the student’s medical information and medication can be retrieved quickly if a reaction occurs in the yard. This may include options of all yard duty staff carrying emergency cards in yard-duty bags, walkie talkies or yard-duty mobile phones. All staff on yard duty must be aware of the School’s Emergency Response Procedures and how to notify the general office/first aid team of an anaphylactic reaction in the yard.
4. Yard duty staff must also be able to identify, by face, those students at risk of anaphylaxis.
5. Students with anaphylactic responses to insects should be encouraged to stay away from water or flowering plants. School Staff should liaise with Parents to encourage students to wear school uniform, as well as closed shoes and long-sleeved garments when outdoors.
6. Keep lawns and clover mowed and outdoor bins covered.
7. Students should keep drinks and food covered while outdoors.
8. Gloves should be worn when picking up papers or rubbish in the playground. Students with allergies are discouraged from participating.

 

Special events (e.g. sporting events, incursions, etc.)
1. If a School has a student at risk of anaphylaxis, sufficient School Staff supervising the special event must be trained in the administration of an Adrenaline Autoinjector to be able to respond quickly to an anaphylactic reaction if required.
2. School Staff should avoid using food in activities or games, including as rewards.
3. For special occasions, School Staff should consult Parents in advance to either develop an alternative food menu or request the Parents to send a meal for the student.
4. Parents of other students should be informed in advance about foods that may cause allergic reactions in students at risk of anaphylaxis and request that they avoid providing students with treats whilst they are at School or at a special School event.
5. Party balloons should not be used if any student is allergic to latex.

 

Field trips/excursions/sporting events
1. If a School has a student at risk of anaphylaxis, sufficient School Staff supervising the special event must be trained in the administration of an Adrenaline Autoinjector and be able to respond quickly to an anaphylactic reaction if required.
2. A School Staff member or team of School Staff trained in the recognition of anaphylaxis and the administration of the Adrenaline Autoinjector must accompany any student at risk of anaphylaxis on field trips or excursions.
3. School Staff should avoid using food in activities or games, including as rewards.
4. The Adrenaline Autoinjector and a copy of the Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan for each student at risk of anaphylaxis should be easily accessible and School Staff must be aware of their exact location.
5.

For each field trip, excursion etc, a risk assessment should be undertaken for each individual student attending who is at risk of anaphylaxis. The risks may vary according to the number of anaphylactic students attending, the nature of the excursion/sporting event, size of venue, distance from medical assistance, the structure of excursion and corresponding staff-student ratio.

All School Staff members present during the field trip or excursion need to be aware of the identity of any students attending who are at risk of anaphylaxis and be able to identify them by face.
6. The School should consult Parents of anaphylactic students in advance to discuss issues that may arise; to develop an alternative food menu; or request the Parents provide a meal (if required).
7. Parents may wish to accompany their child on field trips and/or excursions. This should be discussed with Parents as another strategy for supporting the student who is at risk of anaphylaxis.
8. Prior to the excursion taking place School Staff should consult with the student's Parents and Medical Practitioner (if necessary) to review the student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan to ensure that it is up to date and relevant to the particular excursion activity.

 

Camps and remote settings
1. Prior to engaging a camp owner/operator’s services the School should make enquiries as to whether it can provide food that is safe for anaphylactic students.  If a camp owner/operator cannot provide this confirmation to the School, then the School should consider using an alternative service provider.
2. The camp cook should be able to demonstrate satisfactory training in food allergen management and its implications on food-handling practices, including knowledge of the major food allergens triggering anaphylaxis, cross-contamination issues specific to food allergy, label reading, etc.
3. Schools must not sign any written disclaimer or statement from a camp owner/operator that indicates that the owner/operator is unable to provide food which is safe for students at risk of anaphylaxis. Schools have a duty of care to protect students in their care from reasonably foreseeable injury and this duty cannot be delegated to any third party.
4. Schools should conduct a risk assessment and develop a risk management strategy for students at risk of anaphylaxis. This should be developed in consultation with Parents of students at risk of anaphylaxis and camp owners/operators prior to the camp dates.
5. School Staff should consult with Parents of students at risk of anaphylaxis and the camp owner/operator to ensure that appropriate risk minimisation and prevention strategies and processes are in place to address an anaphylactic reaction should it occur. If these procedures are deemed to be inadequate, further discussions, planning and implementation will need to be undertaken.
6. If the School has concerns about whether the food provided on a camp will be safe for students at risk of anaphylaxis, it should also consider alternative means for providing food for those students.
7. Use of substances containing allergens should be avoided where possible.
8. Camps should avoid stocking peanut or tree nut products, including nut spreads. Products that ‘may contain’ traces of nuts may be served, but not to students who are known to be allergic to nuts.
9. The student's Adrenaline Autoinjector, Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan, including the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis and a mobile phone must be taken on camp.  If mobile phone access is not available, an alternative method of communication in an emergency must be considered, e.g. a satellite phone.
10. Prior to the camp taking place School Staff should consult with the student's Parents to review the students Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan to ensure that it is up to date and relevant to the circumstances of the particular camp.
11. School Staff participating in the camp should be clear about their roles and responsibilities in the event of an anaphylactic reaction. Check the emergency response procedures that the camp provider has in place.  Ensure that these are sufficient in the event of an anaphylactic reaction and ensure all School Staff participating in the camp are clear about their roles and responsibilities.
12. Contact local emergency services and hospitals well prior to the camp.  Advise full medical conditions of students at risk, location of camp and location of any off camp activities.  Ensure contact details of emergency services are distributed to all School Staff as part of the emergency response procedures developed for the camp.
13. Schools should consider taking an Adrenaline Autoinjector for General Use on a school camp, even if there is no student at risk of anaphylaxis, as a back up device in the event of an emergency.
14. Schools should consider purchasing an Adrenaline Autoinjector for General Use to be kept in the first aid kit and including this as part of the Emergency Response Procedures.
15. The Adrenaline Autoinjector should remain close to the student and School Staff must be aware of its location at all times.
16. The Adrenaline Autoinjector should be carried in the school first aid kit; however, Schools can consider allowing students, particularly adolescents, to carry their Adrenaline Autoinjector on camp. Remember that all School Staff members still have a duty of care towards the student even if they do carry their own Adrenaline Autoinjector.
17. Students with anaphylactic responses to insects should always wear closed shoes and long-sleeved garments when outdoors and should be encouraged to stay away from water or flowering plants.
18. Cooking and art and craft games should not involve the use of known allergens.
19. Consider the potential exposure to allergens when consuming food on buses and in cabins.

 

Adrenaline autoinjectors for general use

 

Laburnum Primary School will maintain a supply of adrenaline autoinjector(s) for general use, as a back-up to those provided by parents and carers for specific students, and also for students who may suffer from a first time reaction at school.

 

Adrenaline autoinjectors for general use will be stored at Laburnum Primary School in the First Aid Room and labelled “general use”.

 

The Principal is responsible for arranging the purchase of adrenaline autoinjectors for general use, and will consider:

  • the number of students enrolled at Laburnum Primary School at risk of anaphylaxis
  • the accessibility of adrenaline autoinjectors supplied by parents
  • the availability of a sufficient supply of autoinjectors for general use in different locations at the school, as well as at camps, excursions and events
  • the limited life span of adrenaline autoinjectors, and the need for general use adrenaline autoinjectors to be replaced when used or prior to expiry.

Emergency Response

In the event of an anaphylactic reaction, the emergency response procedures in this policy must be followed, together with the school’s general first aid procedures, emergency response procedures and the student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan.

 

A complete and up-to-date list of students identified as being at risk of anaphylaxis is maintained by the First Aid officer, and stored at Laburnum Primary School. For camps, excursions and special events, a designated staff member will be responsible for maintaining a list of students at risk of anaphylaxis attending the special event, together with their Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plans and adrenaline autoinjectors, where appropriate.

 

If a student experiences an anaphylactic reaction at school or during a school activity, school staff must:

 

Step Action
1.
  • Lay the person flat
  • Do not allow them to stand or walk
  • If breathing is difficult, allow them to sit
  • Be calm and reassuring
  • Do not leave them alone
  • Seek assistance from another staff member or reliable other to locate the student’s adrenaline autoinjector or the school’s general use autoinjector, and the student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan, stored in the Laburnum First aid room.
If the student’s plan is not immediately available, or they appear to be experiencing a first time reaction, follow steps 2 to 5
2.

Administer an EpiPen or EpiPen Jr (if the student is under 20kg)

  • Remove from plastic container
  • Form a fist around the EpiPen and pull off the blue safety release (cap)
  • Place orange end against the student’s outer mid-thigh (with or without clothing)
  • Push down hard until a click is heard or felt and hold in place for 3 seconds
  • Remove EpiPen
  • Note the time the EpiPen is administered

Retain the used EpiPen to be handed to ambulance paramedics along with the time of administration

 

OR

 

Administer an Anapen® 500, Anapen® 300, or Anapen® Jr.

  • Pull off the black needle shield
  • Pull off grey safety cap (from the red button)
  • Place needle end firmly against the student's outer mid-thigh at 90 degrees (with or without clothing)
  • Press red button so it clicks and hold for 10 seconds
  • Remove Anapen®
  • Note the time the Anapen is administered

Retain the used Anapen to be handed to ambulance paramedics along with the time of administration

 

3. Call an ambulance (000)
4. If there is no improvement or severe symptoms progress (as described in the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis), further adrenaline doses may be administered every five minutes, if other adrenaline autoinjectors are available.
5. Contact the student’s emergency contacts.

 

If a student appears to be having a severe allergic reaction, but has not been previously diagnosed with an allergy or being at risk of anaphylaxis, school staff should follow steps 2 – 5 as above.

 

Schools can use either the EpiPen® and Anapen® on any student suspected to be experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, regardless of the device prescribed in their ASCIA Action Plan.

Where possible, schools should consider using the correct dose of adrenaline autoinjector depending on the weight of the student. However, in an emergency if there is no other option available, any device should be administered to the student.

 

 

Communication Plan

 

This policy will be available on Laburnum Primary School’s website so that parents and other members of the school community can easily access information about Laburnum Primary School’s anaphylaxis management procedures. The parents and carers of students who are enrolled at Laburnum Primary School and are identified as being at risk of anaphylaxis will also be provided with a copy of this policy.

 

Note: the Anaphylaxis Guidelines provides advice about strategies to raise staff and student awareness, working with parents/carers and engaging the broader school community.

 

The principal will be responsible for ensuring that a communication plan is developed to provide information to all staff, students and parents about anaphylaxis and the school’s anaphylaxis management policy.

 

The communication plan 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.

 

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 assistant principal or student wellbeing officer.

 

The Principal is also responsible for ensuring relevant staff are trained and briefed in anaphylaxis management, consistent with the Department’s Anaphylaxis Guidelines.

 

Staff Training

 

The Principal will ensure that the following school staff are appropriately trained in anaphylaxis management:

  • School staff who conduct classes attended by students who are at risk of anaphylaxis or who give instruction to students at risk of anaphylaxis.
  • School staff who conduct specialist classes, all staff, all canteen staff, admin staff, first aiders and any other member of school staff as required by the Principal based on a risk assessment.

Staff who are required to undertake training must have completed:

  • an approved face-to-face anaphylaxis management training course in the last three years, or
  • an approved online anaphylaxis management training course in the last two years.

Laburnum Primary School uses the following training course ASCIA eTraining or 22578VIC or 10710NAT and School Anaphylaxis Supervisor (Verifier) must complete ASCIA eTraining and 22578VIC or 10710NAT and 22579VIC.

 

Staff are also required to attend a briefing on anaphylaxis management and this policy at least twice per year (with the first briefing to be held at the beginning of the school year), facilitated by a staff member who has successfully completed an anaphylaxis management course within the last 2 years, including School Anaphylaxis Supervisor.

Each briefing will address:

  • this policy
  • the causes, symptoms and treatment of anaphylaxis
  • the identities of students with a medical condition that relates to allergies and the potential for anaphylactic reaction, and where their medication is located
  • how to use an adrenaline autoinjector, including hands on practice with a trainer adrenaline autoinjector
  • the school’s general first aid and emergency response procedures
  • the location of, and access to, adrenaline autoinjectors that have been provided by parents or purchased by the school for general use.

When a new student enrols at Laburnum Primary School who is at risk of anaphylaxis, the Principal will develop an interim plan in consultation with the student’s parents and ensure that appropriate staff are trained and briefed as soon as possible.

 

A record of staff training courses and briefings will be maintained in the OHS training planner/register.

 

The Principal will ensure that while students at risk of anaphylaxis are under the care or supervision of the school outside of normal class activities, including in the school yard, at camps and excursions, or at special event days, there is a sufficient number of school staff present who have been trained in anaphylaxis management.

The principal will complete the Department’s Annual Risk Management Checklist for anaphylaxis management to assist with the evaluation and review of this policy and the support provided to students at risk of anaphylaxis.

 

Further Information and Resources

 

Policy Review and Approval:

 

This policy will be reviewed annually. 

 

This policy was last noted by School Council in:  September 2021

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