Guidelines for Handling Food Allergies
- Notify the school of the child’s allergies.
- Work with the school to develop a plan that accommodates the child’s needs during the instructional school day.
- Provide written medical documentation, instructions, and medications as directed by the child’s physician.
- Provide properly labeled medications and replace when used or expired.
- Educate the child in the self-management of their food allergy including:
- Safe and unsafe foods.
- Avoiding exposure to unsafe foods.
- Symptoms of allergic reactions.
- How and when to tell an adult they may be having an allergic reaction.
- How to read food labels (age appropriate).
- Awareness that manufacturers may change ingredients without notifying the schools and that cross-contamination may occur
- Provide emergency contact information and update.
- Notify the school if there are any changes or updates to the initially written documentation.
- If the student moves to another school in the school division, provide a copy of the written documentation, or a new directive from the physician to the new school.
- Identify students with food allergies and involve the appropriate personnel in developing a care plan for the student. This may include, but is not limited to, the school nurse, teacher, administrator, and cafeteria manager to work with the student and parent.
- Review the medical information provided by parents and physicians.
- The school nurse will develop an individualized health care plan and an emergency plan for the student identified with a life-threatening food allergy.
- The staff that interacts with the student on a regular basis will be instructed by the school nurse on what food allergies are, recognition of symptoms and what to do in an emergency.
- The school nurse will ensure that an emergency kit is available that contains a physician’s order for epinephrine, for those students identified by their physician as having anaphylactic reactions. With an order from the physician and permission from the parent, students will be allowed to carry their own epinephrine.
- The school nurse will ensure that backup personnel will be trained to administer epinephrine in the absence of the nurse.
- Discuss field trips with the parent of the food allergic child to decide appropriate strategies for managing the food allergy.
- The school nurse will provide education for classmates of a food allergic child as indicated, upon request of the teacher and with parental permission.
- The Director of Food and Nutrition Services will provide a listing of foods, ingredient label(s) and/or other nutritional information, upon request.
- The Supervisor of Administrative Services and/or school nurse and the Director of Food and Nutrition Services will communicate on an as needed basis regarding the management of the student’s food allergy.
- Documented life-threatening food allergies should be noted on students food service account.
- Students should not trade food with others.
- Students should not eat anything with unknown ingredients or known to contain any allergen.
- Students should be proactive in the care and management of their food allergies and reactions based on their developmental level.
- Students should notify an adult immediately if they eat something they believe may contain the food to which they are allergic.
- Students should not eat on the bus.
- Students should wash hands on a regular basis.
- Students should purchase a medical alert bracelet or necklace, if possible.