What does it mean to be an allergy aware children’s education and care service?
Allergy aware children’s education and care services work with families in many ways to lower the risk of a child with allergies having an allergic reaction.
If an allergic reaction does happen while a child is at the children’s education and care service, it will be managed well.
An allergy aware children’s education and care service should include the following:
- Children’s education and care services have a policy to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis.
- Children’s education and care services work with parents and children (where appropriate) to develop an individual anaphylaxis care plan. This includes a copy of the child’s Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Action plan written by their doctor or nurse practitioner.
- All staff are trained to recognise and treat allergic reactions. This includes refresher training and practise with trainer adrenaline injectors.
- Cooks/chefs and educators are trained in how to prepare, store and serve food safely, and how to read food labels for food allergens.
- A range of measures are used to reduce the risk of a child having an allergic reaction while at the service. These measures may be different depending on the age of the child. Examples include:
- Systems in place so that children get the right food and drinks for their allergies.
- Washing hands before and after eating.
- Not sharing food and drinks.
- Planning ahead for activities that involve food such as parties and other special occasions.
- General use adrenaline injectors (Anapen® and EpiPen®) and an ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis are included in the service’s first aid kit.
- Childrens’ individual adrenaline injectors and Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Action Plans are stored unlocked and easily accessible to staff.
If an allergic reaction occurs
- Children’s education and care services have processes in place to manage the allergic reaction well.
- Afterwards they will review what was done well and what needs changing.
- Reactions will be reported.
- Staff and children involved will be offered support (including counselling).
Communication with the Children’s education and care community and children
- Communication about allergies raises awareness and encourages the whole community to work together to reduce the chance of a child having an allergic reaction at the children’s education and care service.
- Where there is a child with a severe allergy, all children in the group should learn about allergies, so they can help to keep them safe.
What are the Best practice guidelines for anaphylaxis prevention and management in children’s education and care?
- The Best practice guidelines for anaphylaxis prevention and management in children’s education and care were developed by the National Allergy Council working with children’s education and care staff, allergy specialists, parents and other groups involved with children’s education and care
- The Best practice guidelines aim to help children’s education and care services (which includes outside school hours care services), prevent and manage anaphylaxis.
- They include sample documents and templates to help children’s education and care services reduce the risk of anaphylaxis, so all children can join in the full range of activities offered by children’s education and care
Why did we develop the Best practice guidelines?
- 1 in 10 babies have a confirmed food allergy. Around 1 in 20 school-aged children have a food allergy. Other children are allergic to insect stings and bites.
- Severe allergic reactions (called anaphylaxis) can be life threatening.
Content updated February 2024