ANAPHYLAXIS POLICY

Purpose

To explain to Chum Creek 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 Chum Creek Primary School is compliant with Ministerial Order 706 and the Departmentís 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

Chum Creek Primary School will fully comply with Ministerial Order 706 and the associated guidelines published by the Department of Education and Training.

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, cowís 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 Chum Creek 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 Chum Creek Primary School is responsible for developing a plan in consultation with the studentís parents/carers.

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

Parents and carers must:

         obtain an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis from the studentís 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 studentís 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 studentís Plan.

Each studentís Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan must include:

         information about the studentís 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 studentís medical practitioner.

Review and updates to Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plans

A studentís Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis in consultation with the studentís 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 studentís 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 studentís Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan if there is an identified and significant increase in the studentís potential risk of exposure to allergens at school.

Location of plans and adrenaline autoinjectors

A copy of each studentís Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan will be stored with their ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis in the Staff Room, together with the studentís adrenaline autoinjector. Adrenaline autoinjectors must be labelled with the studentís name. Spare adrenaline autoinjectors will be available.

Risk Minimisation Strategies

To reduce the risk of a student suffering from an anaphylactic reaction at Example School, we have put in place the following strategies:

         staff and students are regularly reminded to wash their hands after eating;

         students are discouraged from sharing food

         gloves must be worn when picking up papers or rubbish in the playground;

         year groups will be informed of allergens that must be avoided in advance of class parties, events or birthdays

         a general use EpiPen will be stored at the staffroom.

         Planning for off-site activities will include risk minimisation strategies for students at risk of anaphylaxis including supervision requirements, appropriate number of trained staff, emergency response procedures and other risk controls appropriate to the activity and students attending.

Adrenaline autoinjectors for general use

[Note: for guidance on the appropriate number of general use adrenaline autoinjectors for your school, refer to chapter 10 of the Departmentís Anaphylaxis Guidelines]

Chum Creek 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 in the Staffroom and labelled ďgeneral useĒ.

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

         the number of students enrolled at Example 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 schoolís general first aid procedures, emergency response procedures and the studentís Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan.

A complete and up-to-date list of students identified as being at risk of anaphylaxis is maintained by Office Manager and stored at centrally in the Staffroom. 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 student to locate the studentís adrenaline autoinjector or the schoolís general use autoinjector, and the studentís Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan, stored in the Staffroom.
  • If the studentís plan is not immediately available, or they appear to be experiencing a first time reaction, follow steps 2 to 5
  1.  

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 studentís 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

  1.  

Call an ambulance (000)

  1.  

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.

  1.  

Contact the studentís 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 Ė 5 as above.

[Note: If in doubt, it is better to use an adrenaline autoinjector than not use it, even if in hindsight the reaction is not anaphylaxis. Under-treatment of anaphylaxis is more harmful and potentially life threatening than over-treatment of a mild to moderate allergic reaction.

Communication Plan

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

The principal is responsible for ensuring that all relevant staff, including casual relief staff, canteen staff and volunteers are aware of this policy and Chum Creek Primary Schoolís procedures for anaphylaxis management. Casual relief staff and volunteers who are responsible for the care and/or supervision of students who are identified as being at risk of anaphylaxis will also receive a verbal briefing on this policy, their role in responding to an anaphylactic reaction and where required, the identity of students at risk.

The principal is also responsible for ensuring relevant staff are trained and briefed in anaphylaxis management, consistent with the Departmentís 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

    All regular teaching staff.

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.

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. 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 schoolís 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 Chum Creek Primary School who is at risk of anaphylaxis, the principal will develop an interim plan in consultation with the studentís parents and ensure that appropriate staff are trained and briefed as soon as possible.

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.

 

Further information and resources

         Policy and Advisory Library:

o   Anaphylaxis

         Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia: Risk minimisation strategies

         ASCIA Guidelines: Schooling and childcare

         Royal Childrenís Hospital: Allergy and immunology

Review cycle and evaluation

This policy was last updated on June 2021 and is scheduled for review in June 2025.

The principal will complete the Departmentís 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.