A recent court case has highlighted the importance of allergy awareness and education in schools. Maizy Harman, aged six years, has been awarded £2000 in compensation from North Yorkshire County Council after they provided her with food containing her allergen at Woodthorpe School where she is a pupil.
Maizy has life threatening allergies to egg and milk, yet she was given a pudding that had been made with eggs as part of the ingredients. The school had been fully aware of Maizy’s allergies yet still made the catastrophic mistake. Maizy had to be rushed to hospital by ambulance to receive emergency treatment for the severe allergic reaction she suffered as a result of the error.
As well as £2000 in compensation, the Council have also been ordered to pay £14,161.87 in court costs and fined £4000.
Unfortunately, this is not the first case of a child suffering anaphylaxis whilst in the care of their school. 17% of fatal food-anaphylaxis reactions in school-age children happen while they are at school and 20% of anaphylactic reactions in schools are in children with no prior history of food allergy. In 2017, there were two inquests into the deaths of school pupils from anaphylaxis that highlighted the urgent need for staff training, and for consistent policies and procedures on the management of children with food allergies in schools.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign provides resources to help schools improve their allergy safety. Our ‘Making Schools Safer Project’ took the lessons learnt from these inquests and created a package of resources to help schools effectively and safely manage children with allergies. These resources can be accessed here.
School staff can also take the free online ‘AllergyWise for Schools’ course which is designed to ensure that all staff are fully aware of the essentials for management of severely allergic children in school.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign also provides help for catering organisations as part of the corporate membership scheme. If you provide a catering service to children or adults you can find out more about becoming a corporate member here
For information and support about any of the issues raised you can call our Helpline on 01252 542029 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
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