Anaphylaxis Policy

This policy is concerned with the whole school approach to the health care and management of members of the school community suffering from serious specific allergies. The school’s position is not to guarantee a completely allergen free environment. Our aim is to minimise the risk of exposure, encourage self-responsibility, plan for effective response to possible emergencies and become an ‘allergy aware’ environment. The school recognises that several community members suffer from potentially life-threatening allergies to certain foods, or toxins from insects. We recognise that the allergy to processed peas and eggs are the most high-risk allergies in St Joseph’s NS at the moment. This may change in time. As more information on specific allergies becomes known to us, we will treat all allergies under this policy.


The intent of this policy is to minimise the risk of any student suffering allergy induced anaphylaxis whilst at school or attending any school related activity, and to ensure staff are properly prepared to manage such emergency situations should they arise.


Allergy:       A condition in which the body has an exaggerated response to an

Allergen:         A normally harmless substance that triggers an allergic reaction in the immune system of a susceptible person.

Anaphylaxis:        Anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock, is a sudden, severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to food, stings, bites, or medicines.

AnaPen       Brand name for syringe style device containing the drug Adrenalin which is ready for immediate inter-muscular administration used in very young children.

Health Management Plan: A detailed document outlining an individual students’ condition, treatment, and action plan for the use of an  AnaPen. Prepared by the medical practitioners.

The school’s key guidelines are to:

• Identify the student with the food allergy in the school

• Have a written emergency action plan detailed within an individual ‘Health Management Plan’ for managing an anaphylactic reaction

• Avoidance to allergens followed at home should be applied to the classroom (these should be detailed by the parent in the child’s Health Management Plan)

• There is a ‘no share food’ policy in relevant classroom.

• Where food is consumed, the following must be in place:

  1. hand washing
  2. no food sharing
  3. routine cleaning of surfaces where food is consumed to avoid cross contamination

• Every student with life-threatening allergies must have a medically prescribed epipen/anapen in the school. The epipen/anapen needs to be accessible for quick access within several minutes of a reaction and kept in a secure location in the Staffroom.

The school is committed to proactive risk allergy management through:

• the encouragement of self-responsibility and learned avoidance strategies amongst students suffering allergies (age appropriate)

• provision of staff education / training programme on anaphylaxis.

• the establishment of specific risk exposure minimisation practices and strategies wherever required within the school operations

• close liaison with parents of students who suffer allergies

School’s Responsibility:

• Follow the procedures laid out in this policy

• Understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment of anaphylaxis (Appendix 3). Be able to recognise symptoms, know what to do in an emergency, be prepared to handle an allergic reaction.

• Be aware of the students in their care who are at risk from such reactions

• Review and be aware of health records and the ‘Health Management Plan’ submitted by parents. Always keep this Health Management Plan within easy access and within the child’s school file.


It is extremely important that staff follow the ‘Health Management Plan’ procedure to the letter, administer the epipen/Anapen if prescribed in any situation where symptoms show the need; rather than not, as the most it will do is increase the heart rate, but what it will definitely do is buy time. The adrenaline simply gives time to get to hospital where treatment can be given to save life. Staff must also follow the instructions on the epipen/Anapen to the letter, if it says to hold in for 10 seconds, do it etc)

• Ensure that members of staff are properly and regularly trained in administering the Epipen/Anapen to a child in their care.

• Review policy, procedure and individual ‘Health Management Plan’ after a reaction has occurred

• Implement a ‘No share policy’ in the child’s classroom.

• Know where each the child’s epipen/Anapen is kept in the Staffroom.

 Where food treats are used in class the child will be rewarded with treats provided by parent.

• Teachers should avoid the use of food treats in class as rewards, as these may contain hidden allergens. Instead, non-food rewards are recommended.

• Ensure that tables and surfaces are wiped down regularly and that students wash their hands before and after handling food.

• Be aware that students are at most risk when:

  1. Their routine is broken
  2. At yard or during eating times
  3. On school tours immediate access to medical services is not available
  4. Staff changes occur (sub teacher etc)
  5. Participating in activities involving food

• Become familiar with the concept of “hidden” ingredients, not only in foods but also in non-food items that may be used in classroom projects in arts and crafts, maths, and science. Reading the ingredient labels of foods, as well as other items becomes an additional responsibility of the class teacher.

• Children are encouraged to eat out of their lunchbox and to wash their hands before and after eating to avoid cross contamination.

Every Family’s Responsibility

• Be allergy aware

• Teach their children to eat out of their lunchbox

• Support the school in the implementation of this policy

Child with Allergy’s Family’s Responsibility:

• Notify the school of the child’s allergies on diagnosis or enrolment. Provide the Principal with an immediate update if there is a change to their child’s condition.

• Provide written medical documentation, instructions and medications as directed by a physician, using the ‘Health Management Plan’ so that staff will know how to react should their child have an allergic reaction.

• Provide properly labelled medications (normally an epipen/ anapen and anti-histamines) and replace medications after use or upon expiration.

• Supply alternative food options for their child when needed, e.g. on Pancake Tuesday

(The school will give advanced notice of events such as these)

• Support the school in the implementation of this policy

• Educate the child in self-management of their food allergy including:

  1. Safe and unsafe foods to eat
  2.  Strategies for avoiding exposure to unsafe foods
  3. Symptoms of allergic reactions
  4. How and when to tell an adult they may be having an allergy related problem (age appropriate)
  5.  How to read food labels (age appropriate)

• Provide emergency contact information and inform the school if this information changes.

• Review procedure with the school staff, child’s doctor, and the child (if age appropriate) after a reaction has occurred.

Child with Allergies Responsibility

• Should not trade food with others – no share policy

• Should not eat anything with unknown ingredients or known to contain an allergen

• Should notify an adult immediately if they eat something they believe may have contained the food to which they are allergic. (Age appropriate)

• Should notify an adult immediately if they feel they are beginning to get an allergic reaction

Procedure during a severe allergic reaction:

Incidents of severe allergic reactions will be responded to according to each child’s individual Health Management Plan. If a child with an unknown allergy has a severe reaction, the school will call emergency services and follow the directions given.

Raising Student & Parent Awareness:

It is important to work with the whole school community to better understand how to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students, including the student with severe allergies.

Peer support and understanding is important for the student at risk of anaphylaxis. The following key messages should be given to children in an age-appropriate manner.

• Take allergic reactions seriously – serious allergies are no joke

• Do not share your food with your classmates

• Not everyone has allergies – discuss common symptoms

• Wash your hands before and after eating

• Know what your friends are allergic to

• If a schoolmate or teacher becomes sick, get help immediately

• Be respectful to all school friends

Parents will be made aware of this policy on the enrolment of a child with anaphylaxis or when newly enrolled.

Review Management strategies:

If a student has experienced an anaphylactic shock:

• The child’s epipen/anapen must be replaced

• The school together with parents will review the Health Management Plan (the child’s doctor’s input would be necessary at this time).

This policy was formulated by the Staff of St Joseph’s NS in consultation with the Parents and Board of Management.

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management of St Joseph’s NS at a board meeting on February 9th 2017.

Signed _____________________________

         Chairperson Board of Management.

Appendix C – Indemnity

THIS INDEMNITY made on _________________ BETWEEN

Father’s name (lawful father of _____________________ of



Mother’s name (lawful mother of ______________________of


(Hereinafter called the ‘parents’) of the One Part

AND for and on behalf of the Board of Management of St Joseph’s NS situated at Skibbereen, Co. Cork (hereinafter called ‘the Board) of the Other Part.


The parents are respectively the lawful father and mother of _________________ a pupil of the above school.  The pupil suffers on an ongoing basis from the condition known as Anaphylaxis.  The pupil requires that a medical procedure, as described in the attached policy, be carried out in the event of a severe allergic reaction. 

The parents have agreed that the said medical procedures be carried out by a Special Needs Assistant, Teacher or the school Secretary and that said medication be administered by a Special Needs Assistant, Teacher or by other persons as may be designated from time-to-time by the Board.

NOW IT IS HEREBY AGREED by and between the parties hereto as follows:

In consideration of the Board entering into the within Agreement, the parents, as the lawful father and mother respectively of the said pupil HEREBY AGREE to indemnify and keep indemnified the Board, its servants and agents including without prejudice to the generality of the said pupil’s class teacher, the Principal or Special Needs Assistant or by other persons as may be designated from time-to-time by the Board from and against all claims, both present and future, arising from the carrying out or not carrying out of the said medical or from the administration or failure to administer the said medication.

IN WITNESS whereof the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals the day and year first herein WRITTEN.

SIGNED AND SEALED by the parents in the presence of:

_____________________________                     __________________________

Father’s name                                                                   Principal’s name

SIGNED AND SEALED by the parents in the presence of:

_____________________________                     __________________________

Mother’s name                                                          Class Teacher name