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District Departments » School Nurses Office & Health Services » Allergy and Anaphylaxis Policy

Allergy and Anaphylaxis Policy

The Superintendent has designated the following staff person as the District food allergy coordinator for students:
Name: Sophie Weinheimer, RN
Position: Health Services Coordinator
Address: 901 NE 6th Street Smithville, Texas 78957
Telephone: 512-237-5610
 
If your student has an allergy, please print, fill out and return the forms that can be printed below located under attach Files and pics. - for more information on SISD's policy, procedures and training, see the document link, below.


Guidelines for the Care of Students with Food Allergies At-Risk for Anaphylaxis
From the Texas Department of State Health Services

The Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in consultation with the SB 27-Ad-Hoc Committee developed the following guidelines for use by local Boards of Trustees of school districts and governing bodies of open-enrollment charter schools. These guidelines and sample documents are meant to serve merely as a reference (and illustrative) guide and are intended to assist a district in developing and administering a policy for the care of students with diagnosed food allergies at risk for anaphylaxis.
A food allergy is a potentially serious immune-mediated response that develops after ingesting or coming into contact with specific foods or food additives. A life-threatening allergic reaction to food usually takes place within a few minutes to several hours after exposure to the allergen. Eight foods account for over 90 percent of allergic reactions in affected individuals: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat (Sampson, 2004 & Sicherer S. , 2002). Although most allergic reactions are attributed to these eight foods, any food has the potential of causing a reaction. In addition, school settings may contain non-food items such as arts and crafts materials, that contain trace amounts of food allergens. Many products used in the school setting may contain food proteins. Cross contamination can occur when an allergen is transferred from one item (utensils, pots, pans, countertops, surfaces, etc.) to another. When preparing, handling and serving food, it is critical to make sure that food preparation and serving utensils are not exposed to allergens for the safety of children with food allergies. Allergic reactions can occur with trace exposure to food allergens. There is no cure for food allergy. Strict avoidance of allergens and early recognition and management of allergic reactions are important to the safety of children with food allergies at risk for anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is defined as “a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death” (Simons, 2008). Anaphylaxis includes a wide range of symptoms that can occur in many combinations and is highly unpredictable. It is estimated that four out of every 50 children have a food allergy (Gupta, R, 2011) and children with food allergies are more likely to experience other allergies. Children with the diagnosis of asthma may be more likely to experience an anaphylactic reaction to foods and be at higher risk of death. In case studies of fatalities from food allergy among pre-school and school-aged children in the United States, nine of 32 fatalites occurred in school and were associated primarily with significant delays in administering epinephrine, the only life saving treatment for anaphylaxis (Sicherer S. & Mahr, T. 2010). Epinephrine is available through a physician’s prescription in a auto-injectable device. The severity of one reaction does not predict the severity of subsequent reactions and any exposure to an allergen should be treated based on the child’s Food Allergy Action Plan (FAAP)/Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP).
Food allergy can have a wide-ranging, negative effect on children and their families, affecting not only life at home but also school, work, vacation, and entertainment. Virtually no life activity remains unaffected by the presence of a potentially fatal allergy (Greenhawt, M., 2011). Currently, management of food allergies consists of educating children, parents and care providers, including school personnel, about strict avoidance of the food allergen, recognizing the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, and initiating emergency treatment in case of an unintended ingestion or exposure. In order to address the complexities of food allergy management in schools, it is important that students, parents/caregivers, and school personnel work cooperatively to create a safe and supportive learning environment (National School Boards Association, 2011).

For the entire state document, use the following link: Senate Bill 27 Guidelines (Microsoft Work, 9 Mb)