As schools prepare for children to return full time, we have been contacted by concerned parents and school staff about how the COVID-19 epidemic and the restrictions in place because of it, affect the giving of emergency treatment to children experiencing a severe allergic reaction/anaphylaxis.
We wrote to the Department of Education in England and Scotland requesting that clear guidance be issued for schools on this matter and have now received a reply from John Swinney, The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.
The letter outlines the Scottish Government’s support for schools holding ‘spare’ adrenaline auto-injectors and confirmed that the ‘Supporting children and young people with healthcare needs in schools: guidance’ published in December 2017 will still apply. The letter goes on to state:
Our guidance on plans for the return of schools have been clear that there will be circumstances, in order to provide intimate care and medication, where physical distancing will not be appropriate, and that in some cases, the need for personal and protective equipment will be considered. The Scottish Government is updating the guidance for the re-opening of schools, in support of our aim to return to schools in August and that there will not be a need for physical distancing of pupils. However, that also means that the guidance which I referred to above, on the management of healthcare needs in schools will also be in force, and will again guide those in schools on how to respond appropriately, in these circumstances.
You can read the full letter here: Scottish Government Letter
We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.