Anaphylaxis is a severe and sudden allergic reaction when a person is exposed to an allergen. The most common allergens in children are eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g. cashews), cow's milk, fish and shellfish, wheat, soy, certain insect stings and medications. Anaphylaxis is a serious health issue for a percentage of the population and the school recognises the key to preventing an anaphylactic reaction by a student is knowledge, awareness and planning.
The last couple of years at Coburg North Primary we have had a sharp increase in students who suffer from Anaphylaxis, previously we had one child. There has been much discussion at staff and school council level on this. The DEECD Legal unit was contacted for advice on this. Below is an excerpt from the advice we received:
The guidelines state that it is not recommended that schools ban food or other products known to cause anaphylaxis because:
• It can create complacency amongst staff and students
• It does not eliminate the presence of hidden allergens
• It is difficult to 'ban' all triggers: not all triggers are limited to peanuts and nuts.
It is preferable that the school raise awareness about anaphylaxis in the school community so that there is an increased understanding of the condition. The school may also wish to help parents/carers to identify more suitable food options for their children.
At CNPS this means we do not ban foods being brought to school, but we do ask you consider how you send them and that you discuss with your child how they can ensure other children are safe. Some ways of doing this include:
The following is a list of grades that have students with allergies and what they are allergic to.
Foundation: Nuts, tahini & hommos
Grade 1: Nuts
Grade 2: Nuts
Grade 3: Nuts
Grade 4: Nuts
Grade 5: Nil
Grade 6: Nil