Allergies

This is a guide for parents and carers who want to know how to manage their child’s allergies at school.

Tell the school

If your child has an allergy, then it’s very important that you inform the school about it. In cases of severe allergic reaction, informing a teacher and medical staff could save your child’s life.

Some allergic reactions can be life threatening, as is the case with anaphylaxis.

If your child is severely allergic to such foods as peanuts, eggs, fish, milk (there is a range of foods) or to insect bites or some types of medications then the school must know about the possibility of your child going into anaphylactic shock.

If you believe your child may be at risk, see your doctor immediately. If diagnosis is confirmed, ask for an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis. (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Action Plan.)

Advise your school principal or deputy as soon as you become aware of your child’s condition, or when you first enrol them. Anaphylaxis is best managed in partnership between the school, parents and carers, students and doctors.

Other types of allergic reaction include eczema, hay fever, allergic conjunctivitis and allergic asthma.

For further information, please read Do you live your life with an allergy?

What is an allergy?

An allergy is an immune response to a substance that is typically harmless.

There is a wide range of things that cause an allergic reaction.

They include:

  • pollens
  • moulds
  • dust mites
  • animal dander or saliva
  • insect stings or bites
  • medication
  • food
  • latex.

Allergy awareness

By the time your child starts attending school, many parents and carers are already aware of their child’s allergies and how symptoms can appear.

But other parents and carers are unaware of any existing allergic reactions or the allergy might not yet have appeared. In these cases, it’s important to be aware of some standard symptoms.

Symptoms of a mild or moderate allergic reaction include:

  • Swelling of lips, face or eyes
  • Hives or welts
  • Tingling mouth
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting (however these are signs of anaphylaxis if the allergic reaction is due to insect bites or stings).

More serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or tightness in the throat, could be a sign of anaphylaxis.

Please consult Do you live your life with an allergy? for further information.

And see also Allergies and anaphylaxis.

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