Managing Anaphylaxis in Schools and Child Care Services

Managing Anaphylaxis in Schools and Child Care Services

  • Where schools and child care services have a student diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis, staff should receive training in recognition and emergency treatment of anaphylaxis as well as risk minimisation strategies for prevention of exposure to known allergens.
  • It is important to note that anaphylaxis can occur in children not previously identified as being at risk of anaphylaxis. Therefore, all staff should know how to recognise and respond to an allergic reaction, even if they do not currently have children enrolled who have been prescribed an adrenaline autoinjector.

Anaphylaxis in Schools

Where schools have a student enrolled with an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis, they should:

  • Be familiar with the anaphylaxis guidelines and legislative requirements for schools and ensure that staff have undertaken anaphylaxis training which meets requirements.
  • Be familiar with the student’s ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis.
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of parents/guardians, the school, school staff and students.
  • Develop an Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan for the student(s) at risk of anaphylaxis, in consultation with the student’s parents/guardians and the student where appropriate (e.g. high school) and implement or review risk minimisation strategies as part of the development of this plan.

Anpahylaxis in the pre-school sector

Anaphylaxis – important issues for childcare services

Childcare services with a child diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis should:

  • Be familiar with both national (ACECQA) and your region’s anaphylaxis guidelines and legislative requirements for childcare services.
  • Ensure staff have undertaken anaphylaxis training. In Australia, the training should be approved by the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).
  • Be familiar with the child’s ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis.
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of parents/guardians, the childcare service and staff.
  • Develop an anaphylaxis management/health care plan in consultation with the parents of the child at risk of anaphylaxis.
  • Implement and review risk minimisation strategies as part of the development of an anaphylaxis management/health care plan.

Anaphylaxis guidelines and legislative requirements for childcare services

Roles and responsibilities of parents/guardians

  • Notify school of their child’s allergies and provide appropriate medical information.
  • Assist the school in the development of an Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan for their child and participate in reviews of this Plan.
  • Ensure that the school is notified of changes to the child’s medical condition or emergency contact details.
  • Provide an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis completed by the child’s doctor.
  • Provide an adrenaline autoinjector clearly labelled with child’s name to the school. Some upper primary and high school students choose to carry their adrenaline autoinjector on their person, and this is documented in their Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan. These students must also have an additional adrenaline autoinjector kept in an agreed location (e.g. the first aid room).
  • Provide any other medication indicated on the child’s ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis and ensure that it is in date.
  • Promptly replace the child’s adrenaline autoinjector if it is used or out-of-date.
  • Provide an updated ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis after a change in the health condition of the child, through annual (or as required) reviews by a medical practitioner or after an allergic reaction.
  • Assist school staff in planning and preparation for the student prior to school camps, field trips, excursions or special events (e.g. class parties, cultural days, fetes or sport days). Supply alternative food options for the student when needed.
  • Educate the child about their allergies and how to minimise the risk of exposure (such as not sharing food if allergic to food, or taking precautions when outdoors if allergic to insects).

Schooling & Children’s Education and Care (CEC)

The Best Practice Guidelines for Anaphylaxis Prevention and Management in Schools and Children’s Education and Care services were launched on 7th October 2021. These guidelines can be accessed at https://www.allergyaware.org.au.

These Guidelines aim to provide best practice guidance alongside associated support documents to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis in CEC/schools while supporting children/student to participate in the full range of CEC/school life.

The Allergy Aware website has information specific for:

As a parent it can be very stressful when their child is at risk of anaphylaxis and commences CEC/school. In the parents/guardians section of the Allergy Aware website, you will find resources to help parents safely manage their child’s journey through CEC and school.