Managing your child’s food allergy in primary school: Parent webinar
The National Allergy Strategy has partnered with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia to deliver a series of webinars to help parents and guardians manage food allergies and the risk of anaphylaxis in children’s education and care services, primary and secondary schools and camps.
The third in the series was “Managing your child’s food allergy in primary school” presented on Zoom on Wednesday 1 June 2022.
This webinar covers:
- Understanding the risks in primnary school
- Key principles of the Best Practice Guidelines for anaphylaxis prevention and management in schools
- What does it mean to be Allergy Aware?
- Includes responses to participant questions by an expert panel comprising:
- Dr Katie Frith (Paediatric allergy specialist)
- Dr Wendy Freeman (GP and Health Eductor for Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia)
- Ms Briony Tyquin (Clinical nurse consultant in allergy, Children’s Hospital at Westmead)
The webinar recording is available below along with 3 questions that were unanswered specifically during the webcast.
Managing your child's food allergy in primary school - Full webinar
Can my child have an allergic reaction if another child has had peanut butter on their hands and they're sharing sports equipment or playing on playground equipment?
The school asks for the new action plan but the GP tells me that I need to get it from the specialist. Is that the right process?
Can children carry their EpiPen around with them in their bags?
Is the school required to do peer education? Can I demand it as currently the school doesn't do any.
What's the best way to deal with child's birthdays and parents wanting to bring in cakes?
Where schools plan activities with food, should they try to plan for children with allergies or is it okay for them to exclude the child with allergies?
Do young school age children, usually grow out of their allergies?
My son has a tree nut allergy. Packaging often has contains traces of tree nuts and I'm very cautious and avoid these foods. This labelling is however very widespread, to the extent where it feels devalued. Is this reasonable? We just want some advice about precautionary allergen labeling statements.
My child’s school did not have individual management plans and their anaphylaxis plan was poor. They rectified these, but not without some push back and a lot of work from myself. They haven't done any allergy education for the students or school community so far and I suspect they won't. Any tips for approaching them on the education issue, given the frosty reaction regarding the individual management plan?
We recommend you request a meeting with the school to discuss their implementation of the Best Practice Guidelines for Anaphylaxis Prevention and Management in Schools.
Best Practice Guidelines Schools April 2022 PDF
Recommendation 5 – ‘Community and peer education’ (page 15) outlines who schools should be educating and how often. Further resources and information to support schools to provide community and peer education are included in the Implementation Guide on page 30. Curriculum resources are available for free for the K-10 school years.
Wendy spoke about resources we can use to educate our little ones at home through books. Could you provide some good books that would be useful?
There are free e-books available at the Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia website under the “Resources” tab:
- Tommy’s Big Birthday (features the Wiggles).
- The Jeremy’s Children Book Series. Note the Jeremy’s cake book in this series is also available as an app for android devices only.
There are also books available for purchase through the Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia online bookshop.
Why are we complicating things by promoting foods that look like peanut butter or other nut butters. Labelling them as being safe for schools?
There are some foods on the market that look like peanut or tree nut butter but are made from other foods (such as chickpea) and they can be a good option for people with allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. There are also dairy free food alternatives such as dairy free cheese and yoghurt.
The Best Practice Guidelines for Anaphylaxis Prevention and Management in Schools aim to shift the focus on implementing a range of risk minimisation strategies in a school to manage food allergies, rather than focusing only on whether a particular food comes to school. An important part of this is educating children to not share food. Children need to be taught not to share food with children with food allergy and children with food allergy need to learn that they can only accept food from a trusted adult (with parental permission) when they are at school. If children are educated to not share food, then it should not matter if a child has a ‘look alike’ food as they should not be sharing that food.
We do not recommend that schools claim to be ‘peanut free’ or ‘nut free’ or ban foods, but some schools choose to request that peanuts and tree nuts not be sent to school (or to certain class groups) as a risk minimisation measure. An ‘allergy aware’ approach which focuses on implementing a range of appropriate risk minimisation strategies is recommended for schools as this helps keep all students at risk of anaphylaxis safe, rather than focusing only on those with a peanut or tree nut allergy.
Can a nurse practitioner update plans?
Yes, a nurse practitioner can update ASCIA Anaphylaxis Plans.
Content updated June 2022