Food Allergy Guidelines

We adhere to the following CDC Healthy Schools guidelines throughout the district to ensure the health and safety of all SPS students as it pertains to life-threatening food allergies:

  • Communication is essential in ensuring the health of students with life-threatening food allergies (LTAs) in the school setting. Parents/guardians must provide the school, prior to the start of every school year, with documentation from their child’s physician or nurse supporting a diagnosis of food allergy, and any risk of anaphylaxis, if applicable; identifying any food to which the child is allergic; describing, if appropriate, any prior history of anaphylaxis; listing any medication prescribed for the child for the treatment of anaphylaxis; detailing emergency treatment procedures in the event of a reaction; listing the signs and symptoms of a reaction; assessing the child’s readiness for self-administration of prescription medication; and a list of substitute meals that may be offered to the child by school food service personnel.

  • The school nurses create and maintain an individual health care plan (IHCP) for food allergy management, in consultation with the parent, tailored to the needs of each child with a documented risk for anaphylaxis, including any procedures for the self-administration of medication by such children in instances where the children are capable of self-administering medication as applicable under CMR 105.210.

  • The IHCP contains food allergy management that addresses the appropriate response to an incident of anaphylaxis of a child while such child is engaged in extracurricular programs of a school such as non-academic outings,field trips, and before- and after school programs.

  • Strategies to reduce the risk of exposure to anaphylactic causative agents in classrooms and common school areas such as cafeterias include frequent handwashing, frequent cleaning of surfaces used for eating, preferential seating for students with LTAs, no sharing or trading of food, no food for celebrations or rewards. 

  • The dissemination of general information on life threatening food allergies to school staff, parents, and children include individual and group teaching provided by the school nurse. Frequent teaching is performed by the school nurse with the students who have LTAs to review their unique signs and symptoms, current allergies, and strategies for avoidance of known allergy. 

  • All school faculty are trained at the start of every school year by their school nurse on the signs and symptoms of anaphylactic food allergies, the administration of epinephrine, and their students with LTAs. This training reoccurs during the school year as necessary for field trips or school-sponsored events. 

  • Epinephrine is accessible for students with known LTAs and current epinephrine prescriptions in school. In the event that the school nurse is not immediately available, student epinephrine is stored in an unlocked location in the school clinic, which is reviewed as part of the yearly training for epinephrine administration.

  • Alerts in the electronic health record and student information systems are present for each student with LTAs. 

  • In the event that epinephrine is administered in school, emergency medical services are dispatched through 911, parents/guardians are notified immediately, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is notified of the administration.

 Reducing the Risk of Exposure to Food Allergens

 Reducing the Risk of Exposure to Food Allergens

 Reducing the Risk of Exposure to Food Allergens