Food Allergy

      CANYON ISD STUDENT FOOD ALLERGY MANAGEMENT PLAN

Introduction and Intent

Canyon ISD is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for students. Canyon ISD understands the increasing prevalence of life-threatening allergies among school populations. Canyon ISD recognizes that the risk of accidental exposure to allergens can be reduced in the school setting, and is consistantly working in cooperation with parents, students, and physicians to minimize risks and provide a safe educational environment for all students. In accordance with this, the purpose of this policy is to:

  1. Provide a safe and healthy learning environment for students with food allergies;
  2.  Reduce the likelihood of severe or potentially life-threatening allergic reactions;
  3. Ensure a rapid and effective response in the case of a severe or potentially life-threatening allergic reaction; and
  4. Protect the rights of food-allergic students to participate in all school activities.

This Food Allergy Management Plan is designed to limit the risk posed to students with food allergies, and includes:

  1. Specialized training for the employees responsible for the development, implementation, and monitoring of the district’s Food Allergy Management Plan;
  2. Awareness training for employees regarding signs and symptoms of food allergies and  emergency response in the event of an anaphylactic reaction;
  3. General strategies to reduce the risk of exposure to common food allergens; and
  4. Methods for requesting specific food allergy information from a parent/guardian of a student with a diagnosed food allergy.

The Canyon Independent School District has developed this “Food Allergy Management Plan”, which is made available to all parents or guardians of students enrolled in the district. The plan can be accessed on the district website.

The plan, which is annually reviewed, is in compliance with Senate Bill 27 and district Board Policies FFAF, Legal and Local. The plan is based on The Guidelines for the Care of Students with Food Allergies At-risk for Anaphylaxis developed by the Texas Department of State Health Services available at https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/uploadedFiles/Content/Prevention_and_Preparedness/schoolhealth/SHAC/Guidelines-Food%20Allergy-Final.pdf.

Definitions

1) Food Intolerance: An unpleasant reaction to food that, unlike a food allergy, does not involve an immune system response or the release of histamine. Food intolerance is not life-threatening.

2) Allergic Reaction: An immune-mediated reaction to a protein. Allergic reactions are not normally harmful.

3) Severe Food Allergy: An allergy that might cause an anaphylactic reaction.

4) Anaphylactic Reaction: A serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death.

5) Food Allergy Management Plan: A plan developed and implemented by the District that includes general procedures to limit the risk posed to students with food allergies and specific procedures to address the care of students with a diagnosed food allergy who are at-risk for anaphylaxis.

6) Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan(FAAP/EAP): A personalized plan written by a licensed physician that specifies the delivery of accommodations and services needed by a student with a food allergy and actions to be taken in the event of an allergic reaction.

FAAP/EAP outlines the following:

  • The name, date of birth, and grade level of the child.
  • A picture of the child so that they can be easily identified.
  • A list of the foods to which the child is allergic.
  • Indication of whether or not the child has asthma (higher risk for severe reaction if the child has asthma).
  • Description of past allergic reactions, including triggers and warning signs as well as information about the child’s emotional response to the condition and their need for support.
  • Clear instructions on what symptoms require the use of epinephrine immediately.
  • Clear instructions (including diagrams) on how epinephrine should be administered.
  • The name of medications to be utilized in an emergency including the brand name, generic name and the dosage to be administered, and when to give an additional dose of emergency medications. Instructions regarding monitoring the child and communicating to EMS the medications that were given, what time the medications were given and how to position the child when they have had a severe reaction.
  • A place for a signature and date by the parent and the physician/healthcare provider, school nurse or other designated school representative or school administrator.
  • A place to list contact information for parents/guardians, healthcare providers and other emergency contact information including phone numbers.

7) Emergency Care Plan(ECP): A personalized emergency plan written by a School Nurse that specifies the delivery of accommodations and services needed by a student in the event of a food allergy reaction.

8) Individualized Health-Care Plan: A plan written by a school nurse based on orders written by a health-care provider that details accommodations or nursing services to be provided to a student because of the student’s medical condition.

9) School Nurse- A person who holds a current license as a registered professional nurse (RN) from the Texas State Board of Nursing as outlined in the Texas Administrative Code, 153.1021.

Identifying Students with Food Allergies

A. Registration: Included in the Student Registration packet for the use of returning and new Canyon ISD students, parents/guardians are asked to fill out the “Request for Food Allergy Information” form to:

  1. Disclose whether their student has a food allergy or severe food allergy that they believe should be disclosed to the district in order to enable the district to take necessary precautions for the student’s safety.
  2. Specify the food to which the child is allergic and the nature of the allergic reaction.

B. Parent Submissions During the School Year: If during the school year, a student is diagnosed with a food allergy, especially those allergies that could result in dangerous, or possibly life-threatening reactions either by inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact with a particular food, the district requests to be notified. It is important to disclose the food to which the student is allergic, as well as the nature of the allergic reaction. Upon diagnosis of a food allergy, the student’s campus RN or LVN should be contacted immediately in order to begin taking safety precautions.

C. Post-Notification Procedures: Once the “Request for Food Allergy Information” form indicating that a student has a diagnosed food allergy or other life-threatening allergy, has been provided to the school, the campus nurse will follow up with a request for the following information from the parent/guardian:

  1. Authorization for Self-Administration of Asthma or Anaphylaxis Medication (required if the parent and physician feel a student can be responsible for self-medicating while at school)
  2. A Food Allergy/Disability Substitution Request completed by student’s physician
  3. FAAP/EAP completed by student’s physician and parent/guardian.

PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS/GUARDIANS TO PROVIDE MEDICATIONS FOR FOOD ALLERGIES/ANAPHYLAXIS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, EPINEPHRINE AUTO-INJECTORS. THESE MEDICATIONS ARE NOT STOCKED BY CANYON ISD.

D. Suspected Allergies: In the event the campus nurse or other principal-designated school personnel suspect that a student has a food allergy or other life-threatening allergy, the school shall provide prompt notification to the parent/guardian and request for the student to be evaluated by a physician.

E. Non-Cooperation: If the parent/guardian of a student with a known or suspected food allergies or other life-threatening allergy fails or refuses to submit the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan (FAAP?EAP), the school shall implement a simple Emergency Care Plan stating to call 911 immediately upon recognition of symptoms.

Emergency Response

In the event of an emergency, response measures outlined in a student’s Emergency Care Plan will be taken. If epinephrine is injected in response to an allergic reaction, 911 will be called. In the event of an episode of anaphylaxis, the principal/school administrator or school nurse shall verbally notify the student’s parent/guardian as soon as possible, or delegate other school personnel to notify them. Following the episode, the school nurse shall complete a written report and file it with the student health record.

Individual Health Care, 504, and Emergency Care Plans

There are several types of adverse reactions that can occur with food.  Adverse reactions can range from “food intolerance” to a food allergy that puts a child at risk for anaphylaxis (Sicherer2011). Unlike a food allergy, a food intolerance does not involve the immune system and is not life threatening. A food allergy diagnosis requires a careful medical history, laboratory studies, and other diagnostic tests ordered by a licensed healthcare provider. Once the healthcare provider has made the medical diagnosis of food allergy, a FAAP/EAP will be developed by the healthcare provider in collaboration with the parents or legal guardians. The FAAP/EAP provides information about the child’s food allergy, outlines the care that the child will need in managing the food allergy, and outlines actions to be taken in case of an allergic reaction.

The assigned School Nurse may utilize the FAAP/EAP to develop an IHP which outlines day to day nursing care for managing the student’s food allergy. To ensure a safe learning environment for the student with life-threatening food allergies, the parents and the student (when age appropriate) should plan to meet with the campus Health Service staff to review the FAAP/EAP.  In addition, the campus Health Service staff may confirm that all consent forms are signed for the administration of medications, including self-administration to further assist the School Nurse in the development of the IHP. This meeting should occur prior to the child attending school, after returning to school after an absence related to the diagnosis, and anytime there are changes to the student’s FAAP/EAP. This meeting is an opportunity to clarify the measures that will occur on the campus to promote safety, minimize exposure, recognize signs and symptoms, and provide emergency treatment as outlined in the EAP. The School Nurse may facilitate the process of implementing the FAAP/EAP in coordination with the student’s campus assigned Health Service staff, teachers, cafeteria, and transportation.

In some instances, a 504 plan may be put in place if the 504 criteria is met and decided upon by the Section 504 Committee.  Students at-risk for anaphylaxis may be considered to have a disability and require services and program modifications so that the student with food allergies at-risk for anaphylaxis can safely participate in the learning environment.

Depending on the nature and extent of the student’s allergy, the measures listed in the FAAP/EAP may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Posting additional signs (e.g. in classroom entryways);
  2. Designating special tables in the cafeteria;
  3. Creating a Food Allergy Management Team (e.g. the nurse, principal, teacher, parent or bus driver);
  4. Educating school personnel, students, and families about food allergies; and/or
  5. Implementing particular protocols about cleaning surfaces touched by food products, washing of hands after eating, etc.

Transportation and Off-Site Activities

Transportation will receive from campus RN or LVN the student’s Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care (FAAP/EAP) or Emergency Care Plan (ECP) as developed by the School Nurse throughout the school year.

If necessary, assigned seating may be required for students while riding the school bus. Daily Route Drivers will not allow students to eat or drink on district transportation unless the student has written permission from his or her building principal.

Students will be allowed to consume foods and beverages at district-approved activities and while being transported to and from activities on district transportation if the staff member serving as sponsor has verified that none of the students being transported have documented life-threatening food allergies. If there is a life-threatening food allergy, that allergen may be restricted from the activity. The bus driver will be notified of a life-threatening food allergy by a sponsor.

Parents of students with severe food allergies who are taking part in off-site activities, such as competitions and field trips, must notify the nurse at least five (5) days prior to the activity. For circumstances in which a five (5) day notice is unavailable, notification is to be given as soon as possible. The nurse will then provide the staff member with a copy of the Emergency Care Plan, as well as any medications that may be needed in the case of an allergic reaction.

It is the parent’s responsibility to communicate directly with and provide copies of the appropriate paperwork to the following personnel in charge of all before– and after-school activities:

  1. Before– or after-school activity instructors;
  2. Coaches;
  3. Overnight tournament sponsors or district chaperones;
  4. Clubs, programs, or sports sponsors; and/or
  5. Any other activity that a student may be involved in outside of school hours.

Self-Management

Please see the RN or LVN on your child’s campus about requirements if your child must carry and self-administer medications for anaphylaxis and/or asthma.  Refer to the Canyon Policy for Self-Administration of Asthma or Anaphylaxis Medicine (FFAC) Legal

Self-Administration of Asthma or Anaphylaxis Medicine Guidelines:

A student with asthma or anaphylaxis may possess and self-administer prescription asthma or anaphylaxis medicine while on school property or at a school-related event or activity if:

1. The medicine has been prescribed for that student as indicated by the prescription label on the medicine;

2. The student has demonstrated to the student’s physician or other licensed health-care provider and the school nurse, if available, the skill level necessary to self-administer the prescription medication, including the use of any device required to administer the medication;

3. The self-administration is done in compliance with the prescription or written instructions from the student’s physician or other licensed health-care provider; and

4. A parent of the student provides to the school:

a. Written authorization, signed by the parent, for the student to self-administer the prescription medicine while on school property or at a school-related event or activity; and

b. A written statement, signed by the student’s physician or other licensed health-care provider, that states:

(1) That the student has asthma or anaphylaxis and is capable of self-administering the medicine;

(2) The name and purpose of the medicine;

(3) The prescribed dosage for the medicine;

(4) The times at which or circumstances under which the medicine may be administered; and

(5) The period for which the medicine is prescribed. The physician’s statement must be kept on file in the school nurse’s office, or, if there is no school nurse, in the office of the principal of the school the student attends.

Training

At a minimum of at least every two (2) years, school personnel who work with students shall complete an in-service training program on the management and prevention of allergic reactions by students, including training related to the administration of medication with an auto-injector. This training will be conducted by persons with expertise in anaphylactic reactions by students.

Bullying

Bullying, intimidation, or harassment of students with food allergies or other life-threatening allergies is not acceptable in any form, and will not be tolerated at school or during any school-related activity. All threats or harassment of students with food allergies will be taken very seriously and will be dealt with in accordance with the Canyon ISD Bullying Policy.

Confidentiality

Pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs (R16-21-SCHO), and other statutes and regulations, the confidentiality of students with food allergies shall be maintained to the extent appropriate and as requested by the student’s parents/caregivers.

Post Anaphylaxis Reaction Review of Policy and Procedures

In order to stay current with the management of food allergies in the school setting, policies and administrative regulations should be reviewed and updated at least annually.  For students who have experienced an allergic reaction at school, additional review will help in promoting safety upon the child’s return to school.

Questions regarding the District’s “Food Allergy Management Plan” should be directed to your student’s School Nurse.