Management Program for Students with Life-Threatening Food Allergies
marquardt school district 15
This management program for students with life-threatening food allergies is based on the Guidelines for Managing Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Illinois Schools, developed by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. In accordance with School Code Section 2-3.149, this management program includes the following elements:
- A process for developing and implementing individual health care and food allergy action plans for each student with a life-threatening food allergy;
- Procedures for responding to life-threatening allergic reactions to food;
- Protocols to prevent exposure to food allergens; and
- Education and training for school personnel who interact with students with life-threatening food allergies (such as school district administrators, teachers, school secretaries, school social workers/ psychologists, school nurse/health personnel, school food service, lunchroom supervisors, and custodial staff) on the management of students with life-threatening food allergies, including training related to the administration of medication with an auto-injector.
Section 1: Individual Health Care and Food Allergy Action Plans
Parents/guardians of students with food allergies are responsible for notifying the District of the allergies, and for providing the District with appropriate medical information so that the allergies may be managed properly in the school setting. The form for notifying the school of a life-threatening food allergy can be obtained from the school health office or by clicking on the district health forms link.
When the District is notified that a student has a food allergy, the District will gather information from the student’s parent and health care provider, then develop an Individual Health Care Plan (or Section 504 plan, if applicable), which will include an Emergency Action Plan.
The information to be obtained from the student’s parent/guardian and health care provider includes the following:
- A description of each food allergy.
- To the extent possible, an explanation of the severity of the allergy.
- A description of the student’s past allergic reactions, including triggers and warning signs.
- A description of the extent to which the student's contact with or exposure to the allergen/food should be restricted.
- A description of the manner in which overexposure and/or an adverse reaction may be manifested (i.e., hives, swelling, vomiting, difficulty breathing, etc.).
- A description of the appropriate steps for responding to overexposure and/or an adverse reaction.
- If an epinephrine auto-injector or other medication is warranted, a description of the circumstances in which the medication should be administered.
- A description of any social/emotional issues relating to the allergy, and the need for intervention, if applicable.
- If applicable, age-appropriate ways in which the student can be included in implementing the plan.
As part of the information-gathering process, the student’s health care provider will be asked to complete the Illinois Food Allergy Emergency Action Plan and Treatment Authorization Form, and the student’s parent/guardian will be asked to sign the form. A copy of this form can be obtained from the school health office or by clicking on the district health forms link.
For each student with a life-threatening food allergy, an Individual Health Care Plan will be developed and implemented by a multi-disciplinary team, which will include the student’s parent/guardian and appropriate school representatives (such as administrative representative(s), the student’s classroom teacher(s) and specialists, the school’s health professional, a school counselor or social worker, food service director or staff, custodial staff, local emergency medical services, lunch/recess supervisors, transportation staff, and/or the student, as appropriate).
The Individual Health Care Plan will include the following information:
- Risk reduction procedures to be implemented during the school day.
Examples include: (1) adapting the curriculum, awards, rewards, and/or prizes by substituting allergen-safe foods or non-food items in rooms where the student is or may be present; (2) limiting foods or substituting non-food items for parties, birthday celebrations, etc., 3) designating “allergen safe” areas in the classroom and/or cafeteria; (4) having the student’s parent/guardian supply an allergen-safe alternate snack; (5) requiring hand washing or the use of hand wipes after food is handled or consumed in the classroom; (6) wiping surfaces with appropriate cleaning agents after food is handled or consumed in the classroom; (7) requiring hand washing or the use of hand wipes for all individuals prior to entering the student’s classroom. (These options are provided as examples only; procedures for each student will be determined on a case-by-case basis.)
- Risk reduction procedures to be implemented while traveling to and from school, if applicable (for example - implementing and enforcing a policy prohibiting eating on the bus).
- Procedures to be implemented during school events such as field trips (to include procedures to prevent exposure to allergens, procedures for meals during field trips, procedures to ensure that emergency medication is taken and available, and procedures to ensure that the student’s Emergency Action Plan can and will be implemented during the event/trip).
- Accommodations to be provided, if applicable.
- A list of the individuals trained in administering the student’s epinephrine auto-injector.
- A list of places where the epinephrine auto-injector will be stored.
- A procedure for monitoring the expiration dates of the epinephrine auto-injectors.
- An Emergency Action Plan documenting the steps to be taken in the event of an allergic reaction (or suspected allergic reaction). As the Emergency Action Plan, the parties may use the Illinois Food Allergy Emergency Action Plan and Treatment Authorization Form completed by the student’s health care provider and signed by the parent/guardian.
The student’s parent/guardian is responsible for providing the school with a minimum of one epinephrine auto-injector (if applicable) and all other necessary medications (such as antihistamine and/or asthma medications), in accordance with the District’s policies on administration of medication.
If the student’s parent/guardian refuses to cooperate with the District in the development and/or implementation of an appropriate management plan (by refusing to provide information, refusing to participate in the development of the plan, refusing to provide an epinephrine auto-injector or other medication, and/or refusing to cooperate in other ways), then the District may develop and implement a simple Emergency Action Plan stating that 911 will be called immediately upon recognition of any symptoms. The District will send written notification of any such plan to the parent/guardian.
Section 2: Procedures for Responding to Life-Threatening Allergic Reactions to Food
When a student with a life-threatening food allergy is suspected of experiencing an allergic reaction, the following procedures will be followed:
- The student’s Emergency Action Plan will be implemented.
- The student will remain under adult supervision.
- If warranted, emergency services (911) will be called as soon as possible.
- Following the administration of epinephrine, emergency responders (EMS) will be directed to transport the student to the nearest hospital emergency department for follow-up treatment.
- The student’s parent/guardian will be notified as soon as practicable.
Section 3: Protocols to Prevent Exposure to Food Allergens
For each student with a life-threatening food allergy, employees in regular contact with the student will be informed of the student’s allergy and the provisions of the student’s Individual Health Care Plan.
Appropriate cleaning procedures will be implemented. Classrooms, desks, tables, chairs, etc., will be routinely cleaned with District-approved cleaning agents effective in removing allergens. In addition, items and surfaces used to prepare meals (counters, pots, pans, utensils, cutting boards, etc.) will be properly cleaned and sanitized between uses, to remove allergens and prevent cross-contamination.
Section 4: Education and Training
In accordance with School Code Section 10-22.39, an in-service training program for school personnel who work with students will be conducted at least every two years by persons with expertise in anaphylactic reactions and management.
Training for faculty and staff will include, as appropriate, information regarding:
- The common signs and symptoms of allergic/anaphylactic reactions, which may include difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, a drop in blood pressure, hives, itching (in any part of the body), runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, hoarse voice, coughing, wheezing, tightness or closing of the throat, swelling (in any part of the body), red/watery eyes, and/or a sense of doom.
- High-risk areas.
- Procedures to prevent exposure to allergens.
- Emergency response procedures.
- Administration of an epinephrine auto-injector.
- Administration of other medications, such as antihistamines.
- Procedures for checking ingredient labels for food to be provided to the student.
- Bullying and sensitivity issues that students with allergies may face in the school setting.
In addition, a medical emergency response drill involving appropriate personnel will be conducted yearly.
Students may also be provided age-appropriate instruction in relevant topics (such as avoiding food sharing, proper hand washing, etc.).
This management program has been developed in accordance with School Code Sections 2-3.149 and 10-22.39 (105 ILCS 5/2-3.149 and 105 ILCS 5/10-22.39) and the Guidelines for Managing Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Illinois Schools (2010) by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health.