Model policy for allergy management in schools

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

A fifth of fatal anaphylaxis reactions that take place in schools are in children with no prior history of food and allergy.

Allergy organisations have launched new guidelines to help schools safeguard pupils who have severe allergies.

The Anaphylaxis Campaign, Allergy UK and the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology have published a model policy for allergy management at school.

An analysis of national data published last year shows that at least 66 school-aged children are known to have died as a result of food anaphylaxis between 1998 and 2018.

The charities also warn that hospital admissions due to food anaphylaxis in children have increased by 339 per cent between 1998 and 2018.

The guidelines complement the existing government statutory guidance and offer specific detail on supporting children with allergy.

They include measures to minimise risk and advise on training to help school staff recognise the symptoms of anaphylaxis and administer adrenaline early.

Professor Graham Roberts, president of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, said: “Health care professionals looking after children with allergies often hear about reactions that occur at school and often it is clear that they were avoidable.

“Schools wanted to help as best they can and work with parents to put the best possible policies in place but there has little guidance available as to what this looked like.

“With this new model policy, there is a really helpful structure that can be developed locally, in partnership between the school, parents and pupils to create something which works best for them and keeps children safer.”

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