Ladue School District\'s Food Allergy Guidelines

Posted on: Wed, 01/15/2003 - 1:33am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

I'm posting this in response to arachide's 1/14/03 thread on the main board called "Has anyone ever drafted a Food Allergy Policy for their school?"

Just as an intro, Ladue is a suburb of St. Louis with 4 elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. This is an internal memo given to me by the Assist Superintendent. We were pursuing a written accommodation plan (504 or IHP) from our principal, and when things stalled at the higher administrative level, my husband and I met with the Assist. Sup on several occasions to communicate our need for clear and proactive safeguards (in writing) for our dd. It is my understanding that these are "guidelines" and not "policy", so each building prinicipal can determine what protocals are followed in his/her building.

I am copying a 3 page internal memo from the Assist. Superintendent to the Superintendent that is dated 2/20/02 called "Food Allergy Guidelines". Here goes:

______________________________________

The following is a description of steps taken to promote the safety and well being of Ladue students with food allergies.

Definition of the Problem

An estimated 2 million school age children in the United States have food allergies (Baltimore Sun, January 22, 2000). Many foods can cause allergic reations, including milk, peanuts, eggs, tree nuts, wheat, fish, shellfish and soy. However, according to the Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics, Inc., "The peanut is one of the most common foods responsible for serious--and sometimes fatal-- allergic reations." The organization estimates that approximately 125 people die each year from food allergies, the majority of them from peanuts (School Nurse News, September 1999).

For some children, simply touching a surface that has been cleaned of all visible traces of peanut butter can result in an anaphylaxic response. For others, inhaling the scent of an open jar of peanut butter can lead to wheezing and hives. Currently there are 76 children with food allergies in the Ladue School District. This year, following discussions with parents, principals requested support from the Personnel Office in establishing guidelines for students with food allergies, especially those sensitive to peanuts. It was the principals' desire to enhance the saftey of children with peanut allergies while promoting the smooth operation of the school.

Steps Taken to Address the Problem

Beginning in August 2001, the Personnel Office gathered information and shared it with principals who had students with severe peanut allergies. In November 2001 the school nurses and elementary prinicipals considered the first draft of proposed food allergy procedures. The following month, the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for Personnel met with Dr. Robert XXXX, Consulting Physician to the Ladue School District. Dr. XXXX also held a meeting with District nurses in January 2002 to discuss a variety of issues, including food allergies. The Assistant Superintendent for Personnel met once again with principals and nurses in February 2002 to clarify guidelines on food allergies. The results of the meetings are seen in the following guidelines for addressing food allergies in general and peanut allergies in particular.

Guidelines

The Ladue School District cannot guarantee that a child will never ingest food to which he or she is allergic. However, District personnel can be proactive in minimizing the chance of accidental and harmful ingestion of food. In addition, school personnel can be prepared to take immediate steps to safeguard the child should an accidental ingestion occur.

District guidelines stipulate that nursing procedures be geared to the individual needs of the allergic child. All students with food allergies are identified by parental input and by information provided on the school's emergency card. When appropriate, emergency plans are developed for individual children. When a student has a relatively complex health condition requiring modification of the school environment, the school nurse works with the principal, parents, and teachers to develop an Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP). These plans, developed according to the guidelines from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Department of Health, have several components. They include pertinent information about the student, a health care action plan with physician's orders and standards for care, and a date for the next IHP review. The Individualized Healthcare Plan also documents the participants in the conference. A copy of the IHP form currently used in the district is attached, along with a table comparing and IHP with an Emergency Plan and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

For children who are highly allergic to peanuts, the following measures have been included in IHPs:

* A peanut-free table in the cafeteria

* Hand-washing protocols for classmates who eat peanut butter in the lunchroom

* Stipulations that all snacks eaten by the allergic child will be provided by the parent

* Placement of EpiPens (epinepherine) at strategic places in the school

* Notification of parents prior to field trips along with an invitation to attend

* Procedures to wipe down the seat of the school bus prior to transporting the allergic child on a field trip

* Procedures calling for cell phone and EpiPen to accompany the allergic child on a field trip

* Staff training in the use of EpiPens

* Procedures for notifying the substitute teacher of an allergic child's needs when the rregular teacher is absent

* Sensitivitiy training for staff and students

An example of a book used in sensitivity training for students is enclosed. The book, A Nutty Story, was written by XXXX, Reed School Nurse, and illustrated by Reed second grade students.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this information regarding Food Allergy Guidelines in the Ladue School District.

_______________________________________

Just a couple comments--

1. The IHP form that the district adopted is pretty much exactly the same one that is offered in FAAN's school binder. It's 4 pages, and the participants actually sign the document. (I personally believe that signing it is very important.)
2. Our dd's complete IHP is 14 pages long and in addition to the 4-page IHP form, includes specific accommodations, a Food Allergy Action Plan (FAAN form), 911 emergency procedures (delineating staff responsibilities such as who calls 911, who actually goes outside to meet the ambulance, who clears classmates away, etc), an Asthma Action Plan,and several district forms authorizing medications.
3. Our school nurse wrote a wonderful story for our dd's class last year about a girl who had a contact reaction. Along with a puppet skit she created to enact the story, each child got their own copy of the book to illustrate. The kids sent a composite illustrated book to the Superintendent. Very effective (hard to find children's books explaing concept of contact reactions.)

Hope this is helpful to you.

Gail

Posted on: Sat, 03/01/2003 - 9:08am
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bumping up for ryan's mom

Posted on: Sat, 01/10/2004 - 11:50am
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Bumping up for Drew's mom.

Posted on: Thu, 02/19/2004 - 1:30am
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Bumping up for darenberg

Posted on: Mon, 01/03/2005 - 8:21am
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Bump for Drew's Mom.

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