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Managing Life Threatening Allergies In Our Schools


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Title: Managing Life Threatening Allergies In Our Schools

Managing Life Threatening Allergies In Our Schools
Common food allergies in children
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Peanut
  • Tree Nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Soy
  • Whey

Allergy Statistics
  • Researchers believe that the prevalence of food
    allergies is increasing and the number of deaths
    from food allergy induced anaphylaxis is growing,
    and children are the largest group of the
    population affected by food allergies.
  • 6-8 of US children have food allergies
  • 1.2 of US children have peanut allergies
  • 1.3 of US children have egg allergies
  • 2.5 of US children have milk allergies
  • Peanut allergy is the food allergy most commonly
    associated with anaphylaxis
  • Peanut anaphylaxis accounts for 30,000 Emergency
    Room visits per year
  • 150 deaths per year from peanut and tree nut

What is an allergy?
  • An allergy is an abnormal response to a normal
    substance. This is the bodys attempt to defend
    itself against substances that are perceived by
    the body to be harmful (an Allergen).
  • There are various degrees of reaction. Symptoms
    can occur up to 72 hours or more after exposure
    to the allergen and can last up to several days.
    Symptoms may or may not be life threatening.
  • Allergic reactions could be caused by certain
    foods, some drugs, bee stings, and products
    especially latex.

Skin Contact Poison Plants Animal
Scratches Pollen Latex
Injection Bee Stings
Ingestion Medication Nuts Shellfish
Inhalation Pollen Dust Mold Mildew Animal
What is Anaphylaxis?
  • Anaphylaxis is the life threatening form of an
    allergic reaction.
  • According to the American Lung Association, it is
    a sudden, severe allergic response that usually
    produces breathing difficulties, collapse and
    possible death.
  • Usually occurs 1-15 minutes after exposure,
    rarely after 2 hours.
  • Requires immediate action EpiPen
  • Go to
  • for a video demonstration
    of EpiPens
  • Anaphylaxis is the life threatening form of an
    allergic reaction.
  • According to the American Lung Association, it is
    a sudden, severe allergic response that usually
    produces breathing difficulties, collapse and
    possible death.
  • Usually occurs 1-15 minutes after exposure,
    rarely after 2 hours.
  • Requires immediate action EpiPen
  • Go to
  • for a video demonstration
    of EpiPens

Symptoms that can occur during an Allergic or
Anaphylactic Reaction
  • Skin Hives, swelling, itchy red rash
  • AbdominCramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas
  • Neuro Weakness, impending doom feeling
  • Respiratory Itchy, watery eyes runny nose
    stuffy nose sneezing cough itching or swelling
    of lips, tongue or throat changes in voice
    difficulty swallowing tightness in chest
    wheezing shortness of breath repetitive throat
  • Cardiovascular reduced blood pressure, increased
    heart rate, shock, pale and sweaty.

Common sites for allergic reactions Mouth
(swelling of the lips, tongue, itching
lips) Airways (wheezing or breathing
problems Digestive tract (stomach cramps,
vomiting, diarrhea) Skin (hives, rashes, or
Allergic Reactions vs. Anaphylactic
  • Anaphylactic Reactions
  • Hives
  • Swelling (face, lips, tongue, throat, upper
  • Difficulty breathing (chest tightness)
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, cramping
  • Difficulty swallowing (voice changes)
  • Weakness, paleness, sweating
  • Feeling of impending doom
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Runny Nose
  • Itchy, Red, watery eyes
  • Local reaction to sting, UNLESS known to be
    allergic to venom.

Anaphylactic Reactions
  • An Allergic Reaction can advance at any time to
    an Anaphylactic Reaction.
  • An Anaphylactic Reaction can happen very quickly
    usually 1-15 minutes after being exposed to an
    allergen (nuts, bees, latex, foods)
  • Anaphylactic Reactions can involve many symptoms
    or just one severe symptom (rapidly progressing
    hives, difficulty breathing, upper airway

Recognize Anaphylactic Reactions
  • Be aware of the students in your classroom that
    have life threatening allergies
  • Be aware of what the student is allergic to
    (nuts, latex, bee stings, foods)
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of an
    Anaphylactic Reaction. Learn to use an EpiPen.
    Ask your school nurse for training.
  • RESPOND to those symptoms Do Not Ignore

What to do when an Anaphylactic Reaction occurs
in your Classroom
  • Call the School Nurse immediately.
  • Identify the student and problem to the School
  • Ask the student if they have their EpiPen
    on their person.
  • Administer EpiPen
  • Call 911
  • DO NOT send a student who you suspect of having
    an anaphylactic reaction to the Health Office.
    Call the School Nurse to come to your classroom.
    She will bring an EpiPen and emergency equipment
    to assist the student.

How To Use An Epipen
  • Identify Epipen as students Epipen through
    proper label reading
  • Remove epipen from container
  • Remove grey cap. This activates the Epipen

Directions for Use Of Epipen
  • Hold Epipen in your fist with clenched fingers
    wrapped around the pen. Hold it about 6 inches
    from outer thigh
  • Point the Epipen toward outer thigh
  • Swing and jab the black tip against the outer
    thigh until a loud click is heard. This means the
    device has been administered.
  • Hold in place 10-15 seconds, needle will go
    through clothes because it is spring loaded
  • Pull needle straight out.
  • Massage area for 10 seconds
  • Call 911 if not already done
  • Exam Epipen, if the needle is exposed outside of
    the black tip you will know the Epipen was
    administered properly
  • Dispose of Epipen in Sharps container or hand to
    EMTs on their arrival

Epipen Demonstration
  • To view a video on Epipen administration you can
    go to
  • Always stay with student until EMS arrives and
    takes over.
  • Students may require second dose of epinephrine,
    only school nurse or EMS may administer second

How does the Medication help?
  • EpiPen Epinephrine Medication
  • Quickly constricts blood vessels
  • Relaxes smooth muscles in the lungs to improve
  • Stimulates heartbeat
  • Works to reverse hives and swelling around the
    face and lips
  • Wears off in 10-20 minutes, sometimes requires a
    second dose, critical that 911 is called and
    student transported to emergency room!

Emergency Action Plan
  • Administer an Epipen if you recognize a students
    reaction as anaphylactic or call a trained school
    staff member immediately to assist with the
    administration of an Epipen
  • Call 911
  • Monitor students breathing and circulation - CPR
    if needed
  • Notify Parent/Guardian
  • The Good Samaritan Law protects all individuals
    who administer an Epipen from liability.
  • Deciding to become Epipen trained is a personal
    choice. If you make the decision to become
    certified, please see your school nurse.
  • Certification involves reviewing the information
    packet provided, demonstration of Epipen
    administration, and an understanding of allergic
    and anaphylactic reactions and how to react to
    those situations.

3 Rs for handling a Reaction
  • RECOGNIZE the Signs Symptoms Life
    threatening or not?
  • REACT quickly Activate the students
    Emergency Care Plan
  • REVIEW what caused the reaction and did the plan
    work? Evaluate the Emergency Action Plan
    implemented. Any lessons learned? Any changes to
    the plan required?

Food in your classroom and students with life
threatening allergies
  • If you have student in your classroom who has a
    food allergy and snack time takes place, please
    review that students Individualized Health Care
    Plan. This plan will address snack issues and
    food allergies.
  • Hands must be washed before and after snack time
  • If a snack is eaten that could be a potential
    allergen the desk should be cleaned with soap and
  • Food should not be consumed by students in
    classrooms at the Middle School and High School
    unless it is part of a lesson.
  • If you plan on using a food for a health or
    cultural lesson, administrative and school nurse
    approval must be received.
  • Teachers should always leave list of students
    with Life threatening allergies and allergen for
    substitute (form is available in Health Office)

Foods that may have hidden sources of allergens
  • Egg pasta, baked goods, candy, mayonnaise, ice
  • Milk hot dogs, deli meats, popsicles, tostito
  • pretzals, cheetos, popcorn, and cake mixes
  • Peanuts artificial nuts, sunflower seeds,
    chili, spaghetti sauce, popcorn, granola bars,
    ice cream, candy, pesto sauce
  • Tree nuts pecans, walnuts, mortadella, barbecue
    sauce, cereals, crackers, ice cream, candy, salad
    dressings, and pesto
  • Fish Caesar dressing, worcheshire sauce,
    imitation crabmeat
  • Soy baked goods, canned tuna, cereal, crackers,
    and sauces
  • Always read labels!!!!!

Supplies In Your Classroom
  • If you have a student who has an life threatening
    allergy in your classroom please remember to
  • Read all labels of supplies being used in your
    classroom. Identify any potential allergens and
    do not use them in your classroom.
  • Do not use any supply whose contents is not
    clearly defined. If you are unsure, please check
    with the school nurse, manufacturer, or a parent
    as they may be familiar with the supply or

Products that may have hidden sources of
  • Birdseed
  • Playdough or clay
  • Paints
  • Glue
  • Shaving Cream
  • Toothpaste
  • Animals/animal food
  • Bean bags, hackeysacks, and draft dodgers

Anaphylactic Reaction
  • If a child/staff member in your building does
    have an anaphylactic reaction and an Epipen is
    administered, a debriefing will occur with all
    staff involved immediately after the event.
  • At this debriefing, the event will be discussed
    what went right what could have been done
    different and why did the anaphylaxis take
    place (known or unknown allergen).
  • The outcome of the debriefing may assist staff in
    developing a new plan if necessary for that
    student or staff member or it may confirm a very
    appropriate plan.

Final Reminders
  • The School Nurse will provide you with a list of
    students in your classroom who have allergies
  • The district does have a Life Threatening
    Allergy School Policy. It can viewed through our
    district website
  • Parents are a great resource of information if
    you have any questions regarding a students
  • Always remember to leave the appropriate form for
    substitutes. This form lists your students who
    have allergies. You can obtain this form from
    your school nurse.
  • Bullying can be an issue for those students who
    suffer from life- threatening allergies. Please
    address this issue if you observe it or report
    the bullying to an administrator
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding a
    students allergies do not hesitate to speak to
    your school nurse.