Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Academy
Anaphylaxis is a sudden and severe allergic reaction, which can be fatal, requiring immediate medical emergency measures be taken.
Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Academy and its School Board recognize that it has a duty of care to students who are at risk from life-threatening allergic reactions while under school supervision. The Board also recognizes that this responsibility is shared among the student, parents, the school system and health care providers.
The purpose of this policy is to minimize the risk to students with severe allergies to potentially life-threatening allergens without depriving the severely allergic student of normal peer interactions or placing unreasonable restrictions on the activities of other students in the school.
This policy is designed to ensure that students at risk are identified, strategies are in place to minimize the potential for accidental exposure, and staff and key volunteers are trained to respond in an emergency situation.
Policy and Procedures
While Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Academy can not guarantee an allergen-free environment, the school will take reasonable steps to provide an allergy-safe and allergy-aware environment for students with life-threatening allergies.
Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Academy will implement the following processes and procedures to ensure a safe and healthy school community.
1. Description of Anaphylaxis
Signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can occur within minutes of exposure to an offending substance. Reactions usually occur within two hours of exposure, but in rarer cases can develop hours later. Specific warning signs, as well as the severity and intensity of symptoms, can vary from person to person and sometimes from reaction to reaction in the same persons.
An anaphylactic reaction can involve any of the following symptoms, which may appear alone or in any combination, regardless of the triggering allergen:
Because of the unpredictability of reactions, early symptoms should never be ignored(3), especially if the person has suffered an anaphylactic reaction in the past.
It is important to note that anaphylaxis can occur without hives.
If an allergic student expresses any concern that a reaction might be starting, the student should always be taken seriously. When a reaction begins, it is important to respond immediately, following instructions on the student’s Student Emergency Procedure Plan found on the Life-Threatening Alerts board in the staff room. The cause of the reaction can be investigated later.
The following symptoms may lead to death if untreated:
2. Identifying Individuals at Risk
At the time of registration, using the Gaglardi Academy registration form parents are asked to report on their child’s medical conditions, including whether their child has a medical diagnosis of anaphylaxis. Information on a student’s life-threatening conditions will be recorded and updated on the student’s Permanent Student Record annually through MyEdBC student reporting system.
It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to:
3. Record-Keeping – Monitoring and Reporting
For each identified student, the school principal will keep a Student Emergency Procedure Plan on file. These plans will contain the following information:
It is the school principal’s responsibility for collecting and managing the information on students’ life-threatening health conditions and reviewing that information annually to form part of the students’ Permanent Student Records.
4. Emergency Procedure Plans
a) Student Level Emergency Procedure Plan
The school principal must ensure that the parents and student (where appropriate), are provided with an opportunity to meet with designated staff, prior to the beginning of each school year or as soon as possible to develop/update an individual Student Emergency Procedure Plan. The Student Emergency Procedure Plan must be signed by the student’s parents and the student’s physician. A copy of the plan will be placed in readily accessible, designated areas such as the classroom and office.
The Student Emergency Procedure Plan will include at minimum:
b) School Level Emergency Procedure Plan
Each school must develop a School Level Emergency Procedure Plan, which must include the following elements:
The school principal, or designated staff, must ensure that emergency plan measures are in place for scenarios where students are off-site (e.g. bringing additional single dose auto-injectors on field trips).
5. Provision and Storage of Medication
Children at risk of anaphylaxis who have demonstrated maturity should carry one auto-injector with them at all times and have a back-up auto-injector stored at the school in a central, easily accessible, unlocked location. For children who have not demonstrated maturity, their auto-injector(s) will be stored in a designated school location(s).
The location(s) of student auto-injectors:
The Life-Threatening Alerts board will identify where the auto-injector will be found.
Parents will be informed that it is the parents’ responsibility:
6. Allergy Awareness, Prevention and Avoidance Strategies
The school principal should ensure:
Individuals at risk of anaphylaxis must learn to avoid specific triggers. While the key responsibility lies with the students at risk and their families, the school community must participate in creating an “allergy-aware” environment. Special care is taken to avoid exposure to allergy-causing substances. Parents are asked to consult with the teacher before sending in food to classrooms where there are food-allergic children. The risk of accidental exposure to a food allergen can be significantly diminished by means of such measures.
Given that anaphylaxis can be triggered by minute amounts of an allergen when ingested, students with food allergies must be encouraged to follow certain guidelines:
Non-food allergens (e.g. medications, latex) will be identified and restricted from classrooms and common areas where a child with a related allergy may encounter that substance.
7. Training Strategy
At the beginning of each school year, a training session on anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock will be held for all school staff and persons reasonably expected to have supervisory responsibility of school-age students and preschool-age children participating in early learning programs (e.g. food service staff, volunteers, bus drivers, custodians).
Efforts shall be made to include the parents, and students (where appropriate), in the training. Experts (e.g. public health nurses, trained occupational health & safety staff) will be consulted in the development of training policies and the implementation of training. Training will be provided by individuals trained to teach anaphylaxis management.
The training sessions will include:
Additional Best Practice: the distinction between the needs of younger and older anaphylactic students.
Participants will have an opportunity to practice using an auto-injector trainer (i.e. device used for training purposes) and are encouraged to practice with the auto-injector trainers throughout the year, especially if they have a student at risk in their care.
Students will learn about anaphylaxis in a general assembly or special class presentations.
Updated September 2012
Updated October 2014