Carthage R-9

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R 2875 Student Allergy Prevention and Response

The school nurse shall oversee the administration of these procedures in consultation with the food service director, the wellness committee, the transportation director, local health authorities and, where appropriate, the special education director or 504 coordinator.


Allergen – A substance that triggers an allergic reaction.

Allergic Reaction – An immune system response to a substance that itself is not harmful but that the body interprets as being harmful. Allergic reactions trigger inflammation in the skin (hives, itching, a rash); in the respiratory system (coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing); in the gastrointestinal tract (vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain); and the cardiovascular system (lowered blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, shock). Anaphylaxis is another type of allergic reaction.

Anaphylaxis – A life-threatening allergic reaction that involves the entire body. It may be characterized by symptoms such as lowered blood pressure, wheezing, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea and swelling and hives. Anaphylaxis may result in shock or death.

Life-Threatening Allergy – An allergic reaction that is severe enough to potentially cause death.

Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and/or Accommodations - This form is in accordance with Federal civil rights law and USDA. It may be submitted for students who need special dietary accommodations due to a disability or a medical condition. Physician’s signature is required for participants with a disability. For participants without a disability, a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner must sign the form. Parent/legal guardian signature is acceptable for fluid milk substitution for a child with special medical or dietary needs other than a disability.

School Health Plan – A SHP is a document created by the District or the student’s physician, in cooperation with the parents and the student’s healthcare provider, for students who have specific health care needs, and should be used for students who have life-threatening conditions, such as an allergy. It is a plan that has student-centered goals and objectives and describes nursing interventions designed to meet the student’s needs, in order to provide the best care at school. This plan is designed to inform school district personnel who may be called upon to respond in an emergent situation.


In accordance with Board policy, the nurse or designee will provide training to all staff members about the causes and symptoms of and responses to allergic reactions and the proper administration of epinephrine. This training will be provided to current staff members within thirty (30) calendar days of the adoption of the Allergy Prevention and Response policy and on an annual basis thereafter.

Pursuant to Board policy, students may carry medication for the treatment of allergies. In addition, epinephrine premeasured auto-injection devices are available in each building and stored in a cabinet, labeled “Emergency Medication”, in the health nurse’s office. Standing orders for administration are updated annually by a legal prescriber.

Response to an Allergic Reaction

Any staff member who becomes aware that a student is having an allergic reaction must:

  1. Stay with the student;
  2. Notify the nurse immediately or direct another person to do so; and
  3. Contact the parents.

If a staff member determines that the allergic reaction is potentially life-threatening the staff member will implement the Student’s School Health Plan (SHP), if applicable and if the staff member is familiar with the plan.

If the student does not have a SHP, the staff member is not familiar with the SHP, or such plan is not immediately available, the staff member will immediately take or direct another person to take the following actions.

  1. Call 911.
  2. Notify the school nurse or, if the nurse is not available, notify the building secretary.
  3. Administer epinephrine, if available, at the direction of the school nurse pursuant to his/her training or designee. If the school nurse is not present, the staff member may administer epinephrine, if available, if the staff member determines it is necessary to safeguard the health of the student. The staff member may call for assistance using the nurses’ contact information located on the Epi-Pen, which is located in the Emergency Medication supply cabinet in the health office.
  4. Notify the parents.
  5. Provide first responders with information about the student's allergy and reaction and any actions already taken.
  6. A staff member will remain with the student until a parent/guardian or emergency contact arrives or until the student is transported from the district by first responders.

As soon as possible after the life-threatening allergic reaction, the nurse will consult with the student’s parent/guardian to determine whether a School health Plan from the student's physician would be appropriate for the student.

Instructional Areas

No food preparation or consumption will take place in any instructional area unless the instructor has permission from the building administrator. Courses that include food preparation or consumption as a regular part of the curriculum are exempt from this provision, but instructors in these courses have an increased responsibility to monitor student adherence to prevention procedures.

Dining Areas

The school nurse or designee will provide food service with a copy of the Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and/or Accommodations, signed by licensed physician, or appropriate signature that:

  1. Describes the disability or condition;
  2. Explains how the student is restricted as a result of the disability or condition;
  3. Identifies the major life activities affected by the disability or condition; and
  4. Lists omitted and permitted substitute foods.

The food service director will provide information to food service personnel as necessary. Food service personnel will not act on individual requests for dietary accommodations. If a student or parent/guardian of a student who does not have a Medical Statement on file with the food service director requests an accommodation, he or she will be referred to the school nurse for assistance.

The food service director will arrange for all food service staff to be trained in food label reading, cross-contamination avoidance, safe food handling and food item labeling requirements.

If there is any change in the menu after the menu has been posted, food service will notify the school nurse or designee. The nurse or designee will notify parents of students with a Medical Statement for food allergies, if necessary and applicable.

The principal may designate one (1) or more tables in the dining area as peanut and/or nut-free areas. Any student may use these tables, but may not have any food or beverage that contains or may contain peanuts or other nuts. If any student has been identified as having life-threatening allergies to a food or beverage other than peanuts or nuts, the principal may instead designate one (1) or more tables as allergen-free areas and specify the prohibited foods and beverages. Staff responsible for cleaning dining areas will clean any such designated tables prior to each use according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommendations using separate cleaning supplies. No student will be required to sit at the designated table.

Staff members supervising dining areas will promote a "no sharing/no trading" environment to prevent students from trading food, beverages or dining utensils.

Transportation and Off-Site Activities

Except as otherwise outlined in this procedure, drivers will not allow students to eat or drink on District transportation unless the student has written permission from his or her building principal. Written permission will be provided if the student has a medical need to consume food or beverages during the time the student is transported. District transportation should be notified of any student who has a medical need to consume food or beverages on District transportation.

Students being transported to and from activities on District transportation may be allowed to consume food and beverages if the staff member serving as sponsor has verified that none of the students being transported have documented life-threatening food allergies.

Staff members should submit a list of students taking part in off-site activities, such as competitions and field trips, to the nurse at least five (5) days prior to the activity. The nurse will verify which, if any, students have allergies and provide the staff member with relevant instructions from School Health Plan and Medical Statement, and any medications that may be needed in the case of an allergic reaction.

View Policy

Board Approved Date: May 17, 2021
Last Updated: May 2021