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Guidelines for the Care of Students With Food Allergies At-Risk for Anaphylaxis

The “Guidelines for the Care of Students With Food Allergies At-Risk for Anaphylaxis” that's developed by the Commissioner of State Health Services provides information on food allergies, anaphylaxis, and how administrators can manage food allergies in a school setting.


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease defines a food allergy as "an abnormal response to a food, triggered by the body’s immune system." Types of food that are said to most commonly cause allergic reactions are: eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy.


Anaphylaxis is defined as “... a severe life-threatening generalized or systemic hypersensitivity reaction, an acute, potentially fatal, multi-organ system, allergic reaction” (Panesar et al., 2013). Anaphylaxis includes a wide range of symptoms that can occur in many combinations and is highly unpredictable. The only life-saving treatment for anaphylaxis is epinephrine (Chooniedass et al., 2017) and it must be administered quickly if a child is having signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis. Signs and symptoms of a life-threatening allergic reaction include (but are not limited to): shortness of breath, weak pulse, blueness of face or nail beds, and swelling of face or extremities.


Key elements to developing a comprehensive food allergy management plan for schools include the following:

  • Identifying students with food allergies at risk for anaphylaxis.
  • Developing, implementing, communicating, and monitoring of emergency care plans,
    504 plans, or individualize health care plans for students with food allergies at risk for
  • Reducing exposure risk in the school setting.
  • Training school staff to recognize anaphylaxis and have an appropriate emergency
  • Reviewing school policy and procedures after an anaphylactic reaction has occurred.

The full guidelines can be found at the following link: Guidelines link