Minimising the risk of exposure to allergens
For students diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis, the individual health care plan must include strategies to minimise the risk of exposure to known allergens. Further information is provided in Section 4.1 – Risk assessment and management plan for allergens in the Anaphylaxis and allergy procedures for schools (PDF).
Students and their parents will not always be aware that they have a severe allergy.
To minimise the risk of exposure to a high-risk allergen, schools must not use peanuts, tree nuts or any nut products in curriculum or extracurricular activities. This does not include food labelled as "may contain traces of nuts".
These precautions apply to all schools whether or not any student is known to be at risk from anaphylaxis.
Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management within the Curriculum P-12 Procedures (PDF 531.78KB) apply to all curriculum and extracurricular activities and are designed to assist all teachers when planning activities which may involve students in the preparation and/or sharing of food, to protect the health and safety of students and to implement requirements of the Anaphylaxis and allergy procedures for schools.
A blanket ban on peanuts, tree nuts and nut products within the school is not required but may be agreed to by a school and its community.
If a school does decide to ban peanuts, tree nuts or nut products it should nevertheless not claim to be "peanut or nut free". Such a claim could not reliably be made and, if made, may lead to a false sense of security about exposure to peanuts and tree nuts.
If an anaphylactic reaction is suspected in a student not previously known to be at risk, schools must ensure emergency procedures are activated and appropriate medical assistance is called.
Further information on the prevention of food anaphylactic reactions can be accessed from Allergy Aware. Support for schools and children’s education and care services to prevent and manage anaphylaxis.