Allergy Organisations join together to launch new guidelines to safeguard pupils with severe allergies while they are at school
The Anaphylaxis Campaign, Allergy UK and BSACI have collaborated to develop a new “Model Policy for Allergy Management at School Guidelines” to help schools keep pupils with allergies safe.
- Hospital admissions due to food anaphylaxis in children have increased 339% between 1998 and 2018.1
- At least 66 school-aged children are known to have died as a result of food anaphylaxis between 1998 and 20181
- 20% of fatal anaphylaxis reactions in schools are in children with no prior history of food allergy2
These guidelines have been designed to complement the existing government statutory guidance across the UK nations and provides a level of specific detail on supporting children with allergy to strengthen the current generic guidance.
There has been a longstanding unmet need in schools for clear and specific guidance on how to develop and implement allergy policies which recognise children at risk, include measures to minimise risk, and define what constitutes adequate training for school staff. These new guidelines will support all school staff to recognise the symptoms of anaphylaxis, administer adrenaline early and encourage a ‘whole school’ approach to allergy management.
By implementing these guidelines schools will be able take a proactive approach to working towards preventing future childhood deaths from anaphylaxis whilst pupils are in their care.
Simon Williams, CEO of the Anaphylaxis Campaign said:
‘We are delighted that we are now able to share these guidelines with schools which provide detailed and robust guidance for keeping pupils with allergies safe. Sadly, allergy remains on the increase and every fatality is a terrible tragedy for the families involved. We continue to work with schools to further raise awareness of severe allergy and anaphylaxis and ensure that all children are appropriately supported to take part safely in school life to the full’
Carla Jones, CEO of Allergy UK said:
‘These guidelines will provide schools with very clear and supportive information on how they can keep their pupils with allergy safe and do, we believe, meet a real need for both schools and parents. The need to improve awareness and understanding in schools is a priority for us and the launch of the guidelines is a real step forward and something we will promote through all our ongoing work with schools.’
Professor Graham Roberts, President of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology said:
‘Healthcare Professionals looking after children with allergies often hear about reactions that occur at school and often it is clear that they were avoidable. Schools wanted to help as best they can and work with parents to put the best possible policies in place but there has little guidance available as to what this looked like. With this new model policy, there is a really helpful structure that can be developed locally, in partnership between the school, parents and pupils to create something which works best for them and keeps children safer.’
Tina Naseem, Parent said:
‘This comprehensive yet coherent Model Policy goes above and beyond in serving the purpose of creating understanding and awareness of allergies as well as recommending best practice procedures and treatment within schools nationally where there is clearly still an imperative need, not only for adoption but proper and consistent implementation of the guidelines therein. The Model policy provides concerned pupils and their parents/ carers with the necessary support and reassurance that they need.’
For further information, please email [email protected]
- Baseggio Conrado A, Ierodiakonou D, Gowland M H, Boyle R J, Turner P J. Food anaphylaxis in the United Kingdom: analysis of national data, 1998-2018 BMJ 2021; 372 :n251 doi:10.1136/bmj.n251
- Muraro A, Clark A, Beyer K, et al. The management of the allergic child at school: EAACI/GA2LEN Task Force on the allergic child at school. Allergy. 2010;65(6):681-689.