Administrative Procedure - FOOD ALLERGY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
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 Illinois School Code Section 2-3.149, this management program includes the following elements:
- Notice to all District families on the prevention of exposure to food allergens upon initial enrollment and annually at the start of the school year via the Annual Food Allergy Notice (7:285 E1).
- A process for developing and implementing a Food Allergy Action Plan or an equivalent form completed and signed by a licensed medical provider, for each student with a known life-threatening food allergy who has an emergency auto-injector at school;
- Procedures for responding to life-threatening allergic reactions to food;
- Protocols to prevent exposure to food allergens; and
- Annual education and training on the management of students with life-threatening food allergies, including training related to the administration of medication with an auto-injector for school personnel who interact with students. School personnel include but are not limited to, building administrators, teachers, classroom aides, office staff, social workers/ psychologists, nurse/health personnel, food service staff, lunchroom and playground supervisors, substitute staff, and custodial staff
Section 1: Food Allergy Action Plan
Parents/guardians of students should notify the school of the food allergies on the Health Questionnaire during the initial or annual registration process or as needed and provide the school with appropriate medical information so the allergies may be managed properly in the school setting.
Parent/guardians who indicate a severe food allergy will be requested to complete and return the following ; Food Allergy History Form (upon initial diagnosis) and a Food Allergy Action Plan (annually) form from a licensed medical provider.
Parents may use District forms (7:285E2) Food Allergy History Form and/or (7:285 E3) Food Allergy Action Plan or equivalent.
Food Allergy History Form (requested upon initial diagnosis) will include the following:
- A description of each food allergy including the symptoms or how an adverse reaction may be presented or manifested (i.e., hives, swelling, vomiting, difficulty breathing, etc.) and the severity of the allergy.
- A description of the extent to which the student's contact with or exposure to the allergen/food could result in a reaction.
- A description of the student’s past allergic reactions, including triggers and warning signs.
- If applicable, age-appropriate ways in which the student can be included in implementing their food allergy action plan.
If an emergency auto injector is to be kept at school, a Food Allergy Action Plan is required to be completed annually and signed by a licensed medical provider and the parent/guardian of the student.
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 (7:270).
A Food Allergy Action Plan will be developed and reviewed by the school nurse and parent/guardian. The plan will be implemented and distributed to the appropriate school personnel, this includes but not limited to building administrators, the student’s teacher(s), specialists/coaches, health professionals, school office staff, school counselor, social worker, food service director and staff, custodial staff, lunch/recess supervisors, transportation staff, and/or the student, as appropriate.
If the student’s parent/guardian refuses to cooperate with the District in the development and/or implementation of an appropriate management plan, 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 via certified mail 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 known life-threatening food allergy is suspected of experiencing an allergic reaction, the following procedures will be occur:
- The Food Allergy Action Plan will be implemented. If no plan is on file, the District will immediately call 911.
- The student’s parent/guardian will be notified as soon as practicable.
- The student will remain under adult supervision.
- If warranted, 911 will be called as soon as possible.
- In the event an emergency auto injector is administered, emergency responders (EMS) will be directed to transport the student to the nearest hospital.
- Documentation of an anaphylaxis event and/or epinephrine administration will be completed in conjunction with the appropriate district incident report.
Section 3: Protocols to Prevent Exposure to Food Allergens
For each student with a known life-threatening food allergy, the appropriate school personnel will be informed of the student’s allergy and risk reduction procedures will be implemented during the school day.
Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Adapt curriculum, awards,/rewards, by substituting allergen-safe food or non-food items in rooms where students having a known food allergy may be present.
- Establish cleaning procedures for common areas using district-approved cleaning agents.
- Wash allergen safe tables with school district-approved cleaning agents (not dishwashing soap) and paper towels before and after lunch/snack.
- Avoid the use of food products as displays or components of displays in schools.
- Discourage sharing or trading snacks, lunches, or drinks at school.
- Facilitate the acquisition of ingredient lists for food products and classroom products available in the school. Provide access to parent/guardian when requested.
- Encourage students to wash hands before and after eating (wipes or soap and water).
- Inform parent/guardians in advance of any in-class academic activity where food will be served or used.
- Establish allergen safe zones, such as a student’s individual classroom, allergen safe lunch table(s) or areas in the lunchroom.
- Items and surfaces used to prepare meals will be properly cleaned and sanitized between uses, to remove allergens and prevent cross-contamination.
- Communicate with parents/guardians the presence of severe food allergies within the classroom setting detailing acceptable snacks that fit the needs of the classroom.
- Communicate to parent teacher groups the presence of severe food allergies within the school setting
- Obtain emergency allergy procedures from the bus company. Inform parents of emergency procedures relative to food allergies. Parent/guardians must determine if/how student shall be transported to school.
Additional responsibilities for appropriate school representatives include but are not limited to:
- Obtain the completed Food Allergy History form from parents/guardians (new diagnosis)
- Obtain or complete the Food Allergy Action Plan with the parent/guardian annually.
- Provide food allergy awareness training to staff members who may interact with the student.
- Distribute the Food Allergy Action Plans to staff as appropriate.
- Ensure access to emergency medication during emergency situations or drills (i.e., fire drills, lockdowns, etc.)
- Review emergency procedures and any Food Allergy Action Plan with the appropriate staff prior to field trip.
- Ensure student has an allergen safe area available in the lunchroom as appropriate.
- Provide in-service opportunities for food service staff at the beginning of the year and as appropriate. Including a list of students with known food allergies.
- Provide a modified breakfast/lunch menu form to parent and coordinate this information with the District Food Service Provider (Registered Dietitian) to make the appropriate accommodations as required.
- Maintain a copy of the student’s Food Allergy Action Plan in the classroom sub folder.
- At the start of each school year send a letter home to parents/guardians indicating known food allergies in the classroom. Provide update of this notice if new food allergies are identified during the school year.
- Provide, in advance, notice to the parent/guardian of identified students with food allergies of any in-class events where food will be present.
- Ensure food or products containing identified allergens are not used for class projects, science experiments, or celebrations.
- Encourage students to bring healthy allergen safe snacks to school.
- Discuss with students, at an appropriate developmental level, food allergies that are known in the classroom and procedures in place to avoid food allergen exposure in the classroom setting.
- In the event of suspected allergic reactions, ensure the student is accompanied by an adult at all times.
- Plan for the following on field trips:
- Review the student’s Food Allergy Action Plan at least 24 hours prior to the field trip.
- Assign a staff member, who has been trained to implement the Food Allergy Action Plan and emergency medication, to monitor the student’s activities during the field trip. This is only necessary if a parent/guardian is not present.
- Supervise cleaning the student’s table or immediate eating area prior to any meals.
- Ensure the student washes his/her hands prior to eating.
- Ensure the student has allergen safe food supplied by the parent.
- Carry a cell phone to call 911 if needed,
- Ensure there is a communication process in place and reviewed with staff who have regular contact with student who have known food allergies (i.e., two-way radios on the playground, etc)
- At the start of school year, review with all building staff the emergency response protocols as well as bullying and sensitivity issues related to students who have allergic reactions to food.
- Delegate the proper cleaning of the allergen safe areas in the lunchroom and classroom (when the classroom is used as a lunchroom or if snacks are consumed).
Section 4: Education and Training
In accordance with School Code Section 10-22.39, a Licensed School Nurse will conduct an in-service training program in anaphylactic reactions and management for building personnel who work with students.
Appropriate food allergy training for faculty and staff will include, but not limited to:
- 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.
- Identification of high-risk food allergy areas.
- Procedures to prevent exposure to food allergens.
- Emergency response procedures.
- The administration of an emergency auto-injector as defined by School Board policy.
- The Administration of other medications, such as antihistamines as defined by School Board policy.
- Bullying and sensitivity issues that students with allergies may face in the school setting.
LEGAL REF: 105 ILCS 5/2-3.149.
Reviewed: January 18, 2011, January 11, 2016
Adopted: January 18, 2011
Revisions: January 25, 2016