Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a series of questions that schools or parents may ask about Allergy.
Q. What are the advantages for my school of having a SAAG?
A. It will mean that you have looked at risk for the allergic child, addressed managing medicines to treat allergic reactions and have a whole school allergy awareness approach. This will lead to reassurance for staff & parents that allergic pupils can be managed safely in your school. We can help you via this website develop the policies and procedures to facilitate this process. ( look at our case study schools to see how they have led the way forward on this)
Q. Do we need a nut free school, or what is the best approach to deal with this issue?
A. A complete nut free school is an artificial environment that would not be the same as the 'real world'. We believe that a 'whole school awareness of Allergy' is a much better approach, as it will make teachers, pupils and all other staff aware of what allergy is, the importance of avoiding the child/young persons triggers, the signs & symptoms, how to deal with allergic reactions and facilitate 'duty of care' procedures to minimise risk.
Q. How can a child’s school ensure their safety from a severe allergic reaction?
A. Avoidance of the child's allergic trigger is key, but there are rarely any absolute certainties in life so by having allergy awareness, clear policy and procedures that recognise the allergic child and a clear management pathway of what to do if that child has an allergic reaction, risk can be minimised and situations can be promptly dealt with in the most appropriate way.
Q. We have to isolate children at lunchtime, due to concerns they will have an allergic reaction to food in the canteen. Is this the best approach?
A. In the world outside school people with allergy are not isolated. Education in safe management should enable pupils with allergy to be integrated not isolated.
Q. What types of things do we need to include in an allergy awareness policy? What protocols do we need to have?
A. The required policies, protocols and procedures are all included in the schools Allergy Awareness programme ( looked at by the Health Education Trust) so explore this schools section to find out more
Q. What age should children be carrying their own adrenaline autoinjectors?
A. Much depends on the individual child and the school. Some younger children are trained to carry their adrenaline autoinjectors, but generally by secondary school children should be carrying their own.
Q. I am worried about my child having school dinners but why can’t they know what my child is allergic to and give food that doesn’t contain that allergen?
A. Parents are responsible for supplying the school staff and caterers with required information about their child's allergy. The school should ensure that the caterers and other staff have sufficient training in food allergy management. There is now legislation around food labelling of 14 allergens.
Q. Do schools carry out risk assessments of cookery classes for severely allergic children?
A. The school has a duty of care to safeguard children with special medical needs, so an appropriate protocol for managing the individual classroom situation must be agreed between parents, pupil( where appropriate ), head teacher and teaching staff.
Q. My child has an adrenaline autoinjector, antihistamine and a salbutamol inhaler, what happens to these when my child is in the playground or on the sports field and there is an emergency? How can I ensure they are given promptly?
A. The salbutamol inhaler and adrenaline autoinjector should be available in close proximity to these outside areas, where they can be immediately accessed by the pupil themselves or the member of staff in charge of the child. This process should be covered by medicine management in school policy
Q. What happens on school trips, when on coaches, trains & aeroplane journeys?
A. This is where whole school allergy awareness groups formulating robust policy and procedures take into consideration all aspects of school life. An inhaler and adrenaline autoinjector is normally carried by senior school children for whom they are prescribed or by the accompanying adult for younger children.
Q. How can I prevent my child being bullied at school due to his severe nut allergy?
A. Empower the child to talk about their allergy and ask questions if they are unsure, also encourage the school to educate all pupils about allergic conditions and how they can help promote a safe environment for your child and others with allergy. If you are concerned discuss this with your child's school.