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To explain to Western English Language School parents, carers, staff and students the processes and procedures in place to support students diagnosed as being at risk of suffering from anaphylaxis. This policy also ensures that Western English Language School is compliant with Ministerial Order 706 and the Department’s guidelines for anaphylaxis management.
This policy applies to:
- all staff, including casual relief staff and volunteers
- all students who have been diagnosed with anaphylaxis, or who may require emergency treatment for an anaphylactic reaction, and their parents and carers.
Western English Language School will fully comply with Ministerial Order 706 and the associated guidelines published by the Department of Education and Training.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that occurs after exposure to an allergen. The most common allergens for school-aged children are nuts, eggs, cow’s milk, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, sesame, latex, certain insect stings and medication.
Signs and symptoms of a mild to moderate allergic reaction can include:
- swelling of the lips, face and eyes
- hives or welts
- tingling in the mouth.
Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, can include:
- difficult/noisy breathing
- swelling of tongue
- difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
- wheeze or persistent cough
- persistent dizziness or collapse
- student appears pale or floppy
- abdominal pain and/or vomiting.
Symptoms usually develop within ten minutes and up to two hours after exposure to an allergen, but can appear within a few minutes.
Adrenaline given as an injection into the muscle of the outer mid-thigh is the first aid treatment for anaphylaxis.
Individuals diagnosed as being at risk of anaphylaxis are prescribed an adrenaline autoinjector for use in an emergency. These adrenaline autoinjectors are designed so that anyone can use them in an emergency.
Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plans
All students at all sites of Western English Language School who are diagnosed by a medical practitioner as being at risk of suffering from an anaphylactic reaction must have an Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan.
When notified of an anaphylaxis diagnosis, the Site Coordinators of Campuses (Assistant Principals at Braybrook, Manor Lakes and Wyndham and Leading Teachers at Footscray, St Albans and Melton Campuses of Western English Language School are responsible for developing a plan in consultation with the student’s parents/carers.
Where necessary, an Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan will be in place as soon as practicable after a student enrols at Western English Language School and where possible before the student’s first day.
Parents and carers must:
- obtain an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis from the student’s medical practitioner and provide a copy to the school as soon as practicable
- immediately inform the school in writing if there is a relevant change in the student’s medical condition and obtain an updated ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis
- provide an up-to-date photo of the student for the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis when that Plan is provided to the school and each time it is reviewed
- provide the school with a current adrenaline autoinjector for the student that has not expired
- participate in annual reviews of the student’s Plan.
Each student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan must include:
- information about the student’s medical condition that relates to allergies and the potential for anaphylactic reaction, including the type of allergies the student has
- information about the signs or symptoms the student might exhibit in the event of an allergic reaction based on a written diagnosis from a medical practitioner
- strategies to minimise the risk of exposure to known allergens while the student is under the care or supervision of school staff, including in the school yard, at camps and excursions, or at special events conducted, organised, or attended by the school
- the name of the person(s) responsible for implementing the risk minimisation strategies, which have been identified in the Plan
- information about where the student’s medication will be stored
- the student’s emergency contact details
- an up-to-date ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis completed by the student’s medical practitioner.
Review and updates to Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plans
A student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis in consultation with the student’s parents/carers. The plan will also be reviewed and, where necessary, updated in the following circumstances:
- as soon as practicable after the student has an anaphylactic reaction at school
- if the student’s medical condition, insofar as it relates to allergy and the potential for anaphylactic reaction, changes
- when the student is participating in an off-site activity, including camps and excursions, or at special events including fetes and concerts.
Our school may also consider updating a student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan if there is an identified and significant increase in the student’s potential risk of exposure to allergens at school.
Location of plans and adrenaline autoinjectors
Depending on the age of the students in the WELS school community who are at risk of anaphylaxis, the severity of their allergies and the content of their plan, some students keep their adrenaline autoinjector on their person, rather than in a designated location.
Each site of WELS has designated locations in Coordinators’ offices for keeping adrenaline autoinjectors.
Copies of anaphylaxis plans are kept in the main office and first aid room at the Braybrook Campus as well as in Site Coordinators’ offices at WELS’ Footscray, St Albans, Melton, Manor Lakes and Wyndham offices so that plans are easily accessible by school staff in the event of an incident.
Where students have anaphylaxis plans, these are in the student’s classroom, sick bay, the school office and in the materials provided to staff on yard duty.
When students will not keep their adrenaline autoinjectors on their person:
A copy of each student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan will be stored with their ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis at the first aid room and office, together with the student’s adrenaline autoinjector. Adrenaline autoinjectors are labelled with the student’s name.
When students keep their adrenaline autoinjectors on their person:
A copy of each student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan will be stored with their ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis in the classroom, general office, first aid room, site coordinators’ offices (at WELS’ sites) and in yard duty documentation. Students are encouraged to keep their adrenaline autoinjectors on their person.
Adrenaline autoinjectors for general use are available in the First Aid Room at Braybrook and in site coordinators’ offices and front offices at sites, and are labelled “general use”.
Risk Minimisation Strategies
The school will use the checklist and recommendations in the Anaphylaxis Guidelines to implement Risk Minimisation and Prevention Strategies in-school and out-of-school settings which include (but are not limited to) the following:
- during classroom activities (including class rotations and elective classes;
- between classes and other breaks;
- in the canteen;
- during recess and lunchtimes;
- before and after school; and
- special events including incursions, sports, cultural days, fetes or class parties, excursions and camps.
To reduce the risk of a student suffering from an anaphylactic reaction at all sites of Western English Language School, we have put in place the following strategies:
- staff and students are regularly reminded to wash their hands after eating;
- students are discouraged from sharing food
- garbage bins at school are to remain covered with lids to reduce the risk of attracting insects
- gloves must be worn when picking up papers or rubbish in the playground;
- school canteen staff are trained in appropriate food handling to reduce the risk of cross-contamination
- year groups will be informed of allergens that must be avoided in advance of class parties, events or birthdays
- a general use EpiPen will be stored at the school canteen at Braybrook and in site coordinators’ offices at all WELS sites.
- Planning for off-site activities will include risk minimisation strategies for students at risk of anaphylaxis including supervision requirements, appropriate number of trained staff, emergency response procedures and other risk controls appropriate to the activity and students attending.
Adrenaline autoinjectors for general use
Western English Language School maintains a supply of adrenaline autoinjector(s) for general use, as a back-up to those provided by parents and carers for specific students, and also for students who may suffer from a first time reaction at school.
Adrenaline autoinjectors for general use will be stored at the following places at our sites and labelled “general use”.
Base – First aid room cupboard
Manor Lakes Campus – first aid bag outside admin office
Footscray Campus – first aid bag in admin office
Wyndham Campus – cupboards in main admin office
St Albans Campus – first aid bag in admin office
Melton Campus – first aid bag in office
The principal is responsible for arranging the purchase of adrenaline autoinjectors for general use, and will consider:
- the number of students enrolled at Western English Language School at risk of anaphylaxis
- the accessibility of adrenaline autoinjectors supplied by parents
- the availability of a sufficient supply of autoinjectors for general use in different locations at the school, as well as at camps, excursions and events
- the limited life span of adrenaline autoinjectors, and the need for general use adrenaline autoinjectors to be replaced when used or prior to expiry.
In the event of an anaphylactic reaction, the emergency response procedures in this policy must be followed, together with the school’s general first aid procedures, emergency response procedures and the student’s Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan.
A complete and up-to-date list of students identified as being at risk of anaphylaxis is maintained by Office and stored in the student profile, Staff room, First Aid Room and homegroup. For camps, excursions and special events, a designated staff member will be responsible for maintaining a list of students at risk of anaphylaxis attending the special event, together with their Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plans and adrenaline autoinjectors, where appropriate.
If a student experiences an anaphylactic reaction at school or during a school activity, school staff must:
|Administer an EpiPen or EpiPen Jr (if the student is under 20kg)
|Call an ambulance (000)
|If there is no improvement or severe symptoms progress (as described in the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis), further adrenaline doses may be administered every five minutes, if other adrenaline autoinjectors are available.
|Contact the student’s emergency contacts.
If a student appears to be having a severe allergic reaction but has not been previously diagnosed with an allergy or being at risk of anaphylaxis, school staff should follow steps 2 – 5 as above.
[Note: If in doubt, it is better to use an adrenaline autoinjector than not use it, even if in hindsight the reaction is not anaphylaxis. Under-treatment of anaphylaxis is more harmful and potentially life threatening than over-treatment of a mild to moderate allergic reaction. Refer to Frequently asked questions — Anaphylaxis].
This policy will be available on Western English Language School’s website so that parents and other members of the school community can easily access information about Western English Language School’s anaphylaxis management procedures. The parents and carers of students who are enrolled at Western English Language School and are identified as being at risk of anaphylaxis will also be provided with a copy of this policy.
The principal is responsible for ensuring that all relevant staff, including casual relief staff, canteen staff and volunteers are aware of this policy and Western English Language School’s procedures for anaphylaxis management.
Casual relief staff and volunteers who are responsible for the care and/or supervision of students who are identified as being at risk of anaphylaxis will also receive a verbal briefing on this policy, their role in responding to an anaphylactic reaction and where required, the identity of students at risk.
The principal is also responsible for ensuring relevant staff are trained and briefed in anaphylaxis management, consistent with the Department’s Anaphylaxis Guidelines.
The principal will ensure that the following school staff are appropriately trained in anaphylaxis management:
- School staff who conduct classes attended by students who are at risk of anaphylaxis
- Some staff across all sites are Asthma & Anaphylaxis t More staff are being trained in Term 2 2021.
Staff who are required to undertake training must have completed:
- an approved face-to-face anaphylaxis management training course in the last three years, or
- an approved online anaphylaxis management training course in the last two years.
Western English Language School uses the following training course –LP – 22282VIC22300VIC Asthma & Anaphylaxis Combined LP trained by Results First Aid
Staff are also required to attend a briefing on anaphylaxis management and this policy at least twice per year (with the first briefing to be held at the beginning of the school year), facilitated by a staff member (Site Coordinators) who has successfully completed an anaphylaxis management course within the last 2 years.
Each briefing will address:
- this policy
- the causes, symptoms and treatment of anaphylaxis
- the identities of students with a medical condition that relates to allergies and the potential for anaphylactic reaction, and where their medication is located
- how to use an adrenaline autoinjector, including hands on practice with a trainer adrenaline autoinjector
- the school’s general first aid and emergency response procedures
- the location of, and access to, adrenaline autoinjectors that have been provided by parents or purchased by the school for general use.
When a new student enrols at Western English Language School who is at risk of anaphylaxis, the Site Coordinator will develop an interim plan in consultation with the student’s parents and ensure that appropriate staff are trained and briefed as soon as possible.
The Site Coordinator will ensure that while students at risk of anaphylaxis are under the care or supervision of the school outside of normal class activities, including in the school yard, at camps and excursions, or at special event days, there is a sufficient number of school staff present who have been trained in anaphylaxis management.
FURTHER INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Policy and Advisory Library:
- Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia: Risk minimisation strategies
- ASCIA Guidelines: Schooling and childcare
- Royal Children’s Hospital: Allergy and immunology
Our School policy:
POLICY REVIEW AND APPROVAL
|Policy last reviewed
|15 June 2023
|Next scheduled review date
This policy has a mandatory review cycle of 3-4 years