Managing allergic reactions in Early Childhood Education and Care Services
View the nationally recognised ASCIA Action Plans for anaphylaxis which helps identify and manage allergic reactions in a step-by-step format.
26 November 2020
An allergic reaction can be a frightening experience for all those involved, especially if you have never seen one before. Allergic reactions can be mild, moderate or severe. Severe allergic reactions (known as anaphylaxis) are potentially life-threatening and must always be treated as a medical emergency. But how do you know what is mild, moderate or severe?
An ASCIA* action plan is a uniform, nationally recognised plan to help recognise and manage an allergic reaction. The plan is a practical tool to help you identify the severity of the reaction and provides step-by-step actions to ensure that appropriate care is given to the child. As soon as an allergic reaction is identified, an action plan needs to be brought to the child and followed by staff. All the information needed to manage the reaction is contained on the plan.
There are three kinds of action plans for anaphylaxis.
1. An ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (PDF 296 KB) is red and blue and is a medical document for those people who have had an EpiPen prescribed. A copy should be kept with the prescribed EpiPen that is provided to the service.
2. An ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis (PDF 310 KB) is orange and blue. A copy should be kept with each first-aid EpiPen in the service and can be used as a poster.
3. An ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions (PDF 244 KB) is green and blue. This plan is for people who have allergies but have not been a prescribed EpiPen.
The information on all the plans is standardised, consistent and evidence based.
Providing an ASCIA action plan on enrolment should not just be a requirement of each service’s medical conditions policy (a policy each service must have under Regulation 168 (2)(d) of the National Regulations). An action plan is a vital, practical tool for effectively managing an allergic reaction so staff can provide prompt, appropriate and potentially life-saving treatment.
Under Regulation 90 (1)(c)(ii), services must follow a child’s medical management plan in the event of an incident relating to the child’s specific health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition. As the ASCIA action plan is the standard medical management plan for allergic reactions, it is to be closely followed in the event of an allergic reaction.
If you would like more information or support for managing anaphylaxis and allergies at your service, further resources are below.
- NSW Anaphylaxis Education Program at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead: SCHN_anaphylaxis@health.nsw.gov.au or phone 9845 3501.
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology & Allergy (ASCIA)
- The NSW Department’s Early Childhood Education Information & Enquiries team:
1800 619 113 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Regulation 90 (regarding medical conditions policies) of the National Regulations
- Supporting Children’s Health Workshop: Anaphylaxis and Allergy – NSW Anaphylaxis Education Program, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network
*ASCIA is the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology & Allergy. This is the peak professional body for allergy in Australia and New Zealand.