Three organisations have joined together to launch new guidelines to safeguard pupils with allergies while they are at school.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign, Allergy UK and the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology have collaborated to develop the Model Policy for Allergy Management at School Guidelines.
The guidelines, said Allergy UK, provide 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 staff. They will also help all school staff to recognise the symptoms of anaphylaxis, administer adrenaline early and encourage a whole-school approach to allergy management.
The guidelines complement and strengthen the existing government statutory guidance across the UK.
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 – Carla Jones, Allergy UK
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.”
Hospital admissions due to food anaphylaxis in children have increased 339% between 1998 and 2018. Furthermore, 20% of fatal anaphylaxis reactions in schools are in children with no prior history of food allergy.
Professor Graham Roberts, president of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, said allergic reactions that occur at school are “often avoidable”. “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,” said Roberts.
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