APPENDIX E – Food Allergy Policy
Policy: Steps will be taken to prevent allergic reactions in children with known food allergies and all staff will be familiar with the plan for managing an allergic reaction. (revised July 26, 1999)
Preventing Food-Related Allergic Reactions
- Identifying the children at risk – Upon enrollment and prior to attendance of a child at Hoya Kids Learning Center, parents will complete an Allergy Information Form. This form will indicate the child’s name, the food to which the child is allergic, and will list the emergency drug to be given, the phone numbers of the mother, father, or other emergency contact, as well as the child’s doctor and the physician’s phone number, and will be signed by the parents and the doctor. This form gives permission to the Staff to administer the emergency medication and to call the rescue squad. This authorization will be renewed every year. This form will include a photograph of the child and will be posted in the kitchen area and in the eating area. A list of allergic children, foods to which they are allergic, and treatment required will be posted in all kitchen areas. The original will be kept in the child’s file. The food to which the child is allergic will also be identified in red on the cover of the child’s record. In addition, the parents will provide to Hoya Kids Learning Center a signed standing order on a prescription form from the child’s physician regarding the administration of the EpiPen, Jr. or other emergency medication to the child. This standing order is to be renewed every year.
- Meeting with parents – Prior to attendance at Hoya Kids Learning Center, the parents of a child with allergies will meet with the classroom teachers to discuss a food allergy avoidance plan. The parents will provide a list of foods and ingredients to avoid, and will discuss a strategy for avoidance. The parents and staff members will review the avoidance strategy on an annual basis and when the child moves to a new class. The parents will follow-up by submitting a letter to the Director of Hoya Kids Learning Center outlining the avoidance strategy. The parents will be given a copy of the Food Allergy Policy.
- Staff Training – The Staff will receive training regarding food related allergies on initial appointment for new staff and then annually. At a minimum this will include review of the training movie “It Only Takes One Bite,” demonstrated knowledge of identifying allergic symptoms, demonstrated knowledge of where the EpiPen Jr. is stored, demonstrated knowledge of how to administer the EpiPen Jr., and a review of the food allergic children and specific food avoidance procedures for the allergic child/ren, a demonstrated knowledge of procedures to follow if an exposure occurs, as well as a review of the Food Allergy Policy. The Hoya Kids Learning Center will keep a record of the date each Staff received training.
- The rescue squad (GERMS) will be notified annually that there are children with food allergies who would require epinephrine for treatment.
- Maintaining staff awareness of allergens in foods – “How to Read a Label” charts will be posted on the refrigerators in the kitchen areas.
- Avoidance of exposure during snack times and meal times – Hoya Kids Learning Center is a Peanut- and Nut-Free Center as of Fall 2007. Therefore, no peanuts or nuts should be brought in by parents, children, or staff members. Additionally, staff members should take special care not to serve any peanut- or nut-containing foods that are accidentally or inadvertently brought to the Center. For children who are allergic to other foods, the staff will make every effort to provide an allergen-free area for the child during snacks and lunchtimes in which the allergen is served. Staff members will always make sure that all children do not share food and that the allergic child does not contaminate his food by using allergen-containing utensils, for example. After lunch, all children will wash their hands and faces.
- On field trips or excursions off the grounds of Hoya Kids Learning Center, the allergic child will not be given any food that is not provided by the child’s parents or approved by the child’s parents on that occasion. Other parents who are assisting on the field trip will be notified of this policy.
- Parents of the allergic child will be notified in advance of food-related special events such as birthday parties in which atypical foods are served. Parents will be given an opportunity to bring in an equivalent but non-allergic food to be served to the allergic child during the special event. Parents will also be notified of any special projects in which food is used, such as arts and crafts.
- The EpiPen Jr. that is obtained by prescription from the allergic child’s physician will be stored at room temperature in the emergency medicine box. For each child with serious food-related allergies, the Hoya Kids Learning Center will keep one EpiPen Jr. in the emergency medicine box in the appropriate kitchen and one EpiPen Jr. in each of the mobile emergency fanny pack kits. These two Epipen Jr.’s should be labeled with the up-to-date prescription label including the child’s name and the medication’s expiration date. The child’s parents will supply both EpiPen Jr.s and will be responsible for ensuring that the EpiPen Jr.s are within their expiration dates.
- Whenever the child is off the immediate grounds of Hoya Kids Learning Center (either on a field trip or a local walk), the EpiPen Jr. will be carried in the mobile emergency “Go Bag” kit. The classroom’s mobile phone will also be carried.
- Maintaining children’s awareness of food-related allergies – Children in the class of a child with food allergies may be recommended to watch the movie “The Elephant Who Couldn’t Eat Peanuts” annually, depending on whether the movie is developmentally appropriate for the specific age group in question.
Management of Serious Food Allergy
Allergic Reactions on the Grounds of Hoya Kids Learning Center
- If a suspected serious allergic reaction occurs on the grounds of Hoya Kids Learning Center, the child should be taken to the director’s office by a staff member who should stay with the child. A staff member will stay with the child at all times and will accompany the child to the hospital.
- The EpiPen Jr. should be obtained immediately from the medicine box or Go Bag and administered to the child. It may be administered through the child’s clothes by removing the gray cap and pushing the black end directly into the thigh until a click is heard; hold it in place for 15 seconds. Then massage the area. Any full-time staff member can administer the EpiPen Jr.
- Another staff member—preferably someone at the Front Desk—should call GERMS immediately. This staff member should report that there has been a food allergy reaction and the child has received epinephrine in the form of EpiPen Jr.
- The Director of Hoya Kids Learning Center or another designated staff member will then notify the child’s parents.
- Staff will monitor the child until the rescue squad arrives
Allergic Reactions off the Grounds of Hoya Kids Learning Center
- If a suspected allergic reaction occurs off the grounds of Hoya Kids Learning Center (on Main Campus, on a local walk, or on a field trip), the EpiPen Jr. should be obtained immediately from the Go Bag and administered to the child. It may be administered through the child’s clothes by removing the gray cap and pushing the black end directly into the thigh until a click is heard; hold it in place for 15 seconds. Then massage the area. Any full-time staff member can administer the EpiPen Jr.
- If the group is on GU’s Main Campus, GERMS will be called immediately; if the group is on a field trip or a local walk in the neighborhood, DC’s Emergency Rescue will be called immediately (911). The staff member who calls GERMS or 911 will report that there is a child who has had a severe food allergy reaction and has been given a dose of epinephrine. A staff member will stay with the child at all times and will accompany the child to the hospital.
- The Director and administrative staff of Hoya Kids Learning Center will then be notified.
- The Director of Hoya Kids Learning Center or her designee will then notify the child’s parents.
- Staff will monitor the child until the rescue squad arrives
If an allergic reaction occurs, documentation in the child’s record will include the nature of the reaction, the time of the allergic reaction, the time of administration of the EpiPen Jr., the time the rescue squad was called, the outcome of the intervention, and the time the parent was informed.
If an allergic reaction occurs, an incident report should be completed, and a copy provided to the Human Services Facility Division (HFSD) of the Department of Health of the District of Columbia.
If an EpiPen Jr. is used, it should be replaced by the child’s parents.
Policy Review -The Food Allergy Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis and more often if an allergen exposure occurs.