Help for schools
Research indicates that as many as one in 70 UK children may be allergic to peanuts. Occasionally the symptoms are severe and they may even be life-threatening. Peanut is not the only food capable of triggering severe allergic reactions. Others include egg, milk, fish, shellfish, tree nuts and kiwifruit. Many more may be implicated on rare occasions.
The good news is that even the most severe form of allergy (anaphylaxis) is very manageable. The vast majority of the children affected are happily accommodated in mainstream schools thanks to good communication among parents, school staff, doctors and education authorities. With sound precautionary measures and support from the staff, school life may continue as normal for all concerned.
Sources of help and information
The Campaign’s AllergyWise anaphylaxis online training course for parents and carers of school-age children is a key source of help for those responsible for the care and management of severely allergic schoolchildren.
Our AllergyWise anaphylaxis online training course for Healthcare Professionals is an essential “train the trainer” resource for School nurses and those who may have the responsibility for training other staff in the care of severely allergic school children.
The basic information schools need is covered in our fact sheet “Frequently asked Questions in Schools”. This can be found on “Our Factsheets” page, in the “Anaphylaxis – General advice and information” section.
Allergy Action Plans are available to download from the BSACI’s website. One of these should be completed for each allergic child.
Children who are considered to be at risk of life-threatening allergic reactions are prescribed adrenaline injectors and school staff may be asked to be trained to administer them. For information on adrenaline injectors, click here.
Key recommendations on the management of allergic children were produced in 2010 by a task force made up of allergy experts from 12 key European institutions, with input from organisations that included the Anaphylaxis Campaign. Click here.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign has provided useful tips for caterers in general and many of these can be applied to the school scenario.