Management of Life Threatening Allergies in Schools
The Board of Education recognizes pupils may have allergies to certain foods and other substances and may be at risk for anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a sudden, severe, serious, systemic allergic reaction that can involve various areas of the body (such as the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular system). Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that may be rapid in onset and may cause death. Policy 5331 has been developed in accordance with the Guidelines for the Management of Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Schools developed by the New Jersey Department of Education.
An Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP) and an Individualized Emergency Healthcare Plan (IEHP) will be developed for each pupil at risk for a life-threatening allergic reaction. Self-administration of medication, the placement and the accessibility of epinephrine, and the recruitment and training of designees who volunteer to administer epinephrine during school and at school-sponsored functions when the school nurse or designee is not available shall be in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12 and Board Policy and Regulation 5330. School staff will be appropriately trained by the school nurse or designee to understand the school’s general emergency procedures and steps to take should a life-threatening allergic reaction occur.
The school district will develop and implement appropriate strategies and prevention measures for the reduction of risk of exposure to food allergens throughout the school day, during before- and after-school programs, at all school-sponsored activities, in the cafeteria, or wherever food is present.
A description of the roles and responsibilities of parent(s) or legal guardian(s), staff, and pupils to prevent allergic reactions and during allergic reactions are outlined in Regulation 5331.
Every incident involving a life-threatening allergic reaction and/or whenever epinephrine is administered throughout the school day, during before- and after-school programs, and/or at all school-sponsored activities shall be reported to the school nurse or designee. The school nurse or designee shall be responsible to notify emergency responders, the Principal or designee, the school physician, and the Superintendent of Schools. The Superintendent shall inform the Board of Education after every incident including a life-threatening allergic reaction or whenever epinephrine is administered by the school nurse or designee. In addition, in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.5.e.(3), the school nurse or designee shall arrange for the transportation of a pupil to the hospital emergency room by emergency services personnel after the administration of epinephrine, even if the pupil’s symptoms appear to have resolved.
There will be occasions where food and/or beverages will be served as part of a classroom experience, field trip, and/or celebration. Because the ingredients of these food and beverage products may be unknown to the food preparation person and/or server, a pupil with anaphylaxis to food should not consume any food products that he/she is unsure of the ingredients. The teacher will provide, whenever possible, advance notice of the classroom experience, field trip, or celebration in order for the pupil to bring a food or beverage product from their home so they may participate in the activity.
When a parent(s) or legal guardian(s) informs the Building Principal and the school nurse the pupil may have an anaphylactic reaction to a substance other than food, the Building Principal will work with school staff to determine if these substances are on school grounds. The Building Principal will inform and work with the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and the pupil to avoid the pupil’s exposure to these substances if present on school grounds.
School staff will be appropriately trained by the school nurse or designee to understand the school’s general emergency procedures and steps to take should a life-threatening allergic reaction occur. The school nurse or designee will provide appropriate training to school staff to understand allergies to food and other substances, to recognize symptoms of an allergic reaction, and to know the school’s general emergency procedures and steps to take should a life-threatening allergic reaction occur. The school nurse will work with appropriate school staff to eliminate or substitute the use of allergens in the allergic pupil’s meals, educational/instructional tools and materials, arts and crafts projects, or incentives.
Policy and Regulation 5331 should be annually reviewed, evaluated, and updated where needed. Policy and Regulation 5331 will be disseminated and communicated to all parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of pupils in the school in the beginning of each school year and when a pupil enters the school after the beginning of the school year.
N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.3 through 18A:40-12.6
New Jersey Department of Education - Guidelines for the Management of Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Schools – September 2008
Adopted: 26 July 2005
Revised: 26 February 2009