Downs View School is committed to meeting the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and therefore achieving the following:
- Identifying all pupils with known allergies and putting into place necessary controls to enable them to access and experience school safely and without detriment to their health.
- Being proactive by ensuring that safe systems and practices are established and maintained for managing allergens and adequate training is provided in order to minimise or so far as is reasonably practicable, to remove all risks to pupils with regards to allergens.
- Continuously improving its health and safety performance.
Our Allergen Management policy sets out how Downs View School will support pupils with allergies, to ensure they are safe and are not disadvantaged in any way whilst taking part in school life.
An allergy is a reaction by the body’s immune system to substances that are usually harmless. The reaction can cause minor symptoms such as itching, sneezing or rashes but sometimes causes a much more severe reaction called anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is a severe systemic allergic reaction and is at the extreme end of the allergic spectrum. The whole body is affected often within minutes of exposure to the allergen, but sometimes it can be hours later. Causes often include foods, insect stings, or drugs.
The common causes of allergies relevant to our policy are the 14 major food allergens:
- Cereals containing Gluten
- Celery including stalks, leaves, seeds and celeriac in salads
- Crustaceans, (prawns, crab, lobster, scampi, shrimp paste)
- Eggs – also, food glazed with egg
- Fish – some salad dressings, relishes, fish sauce, some soy and Worcester sauces
- Soya (tofu, bean curd, soya flour)
- Milk – also, food glazed with milk
- Nuts, (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio, cashew and macadamia nuts, nut oils, marzipan
- Peanuts – sauces, cakes, desserts, ground nut oil, peanut flour
- Mustard – liquid mustard, mustard powder, mustard seeds
- Sesame Seeds – bread, bread sticks, tahini, humus, sesame oil
- Sulphur dioxide/Sulphites (dried fruit, fruit juice drinks, wine, and beer)
- Lupin, seeds and flour, in some bread and pastries
- Molluscs, (mussels, whelks, oyster sauce, land snails and squid).
The allergy to nuts is the most common high-risk allergy and, as such, demands controls that are more rigorous. However, it is important to ensure that all allergies and intolerances are treated equally as the effect to the individual can be both life threatening and uncomfortable, if suffered.
It is the parent’s responsibility to inform Downs View School of any allergies. This information should include all previous severe allergic reactions, history of anaphylaxis and details of all prescribed medication.
Parents are to supply a copy of their child’s Allergy Action Plan to the school. If they do not currently have an Allergy Action Plan this should be developed as soon as possible in collaboration with a healthcare professional e.g. Doctor.
Parents are responsible for ensuring any required medication is supplied with child’s name, in date and replaced as necessary. A medication form must be completed.
Parents are requested to keep the school up to date with any changes in allergy management. The Allergy Action Plan will be kept updated accordingly.