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Life Threatening Allergies

Policy JLCCB

Adopted: October 16, 2014
Amended: N/A

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Statement of Purpose

The Hopkinton Public School district is committed to setting age-appropriate guidelines for students and schools that minimize the risk for children with life threatening allergies (LTA) to be exposed to offending allergens that may trigger a life threatening reaction. Such guidelines shall include: building-based general medical emergency plans, Emergency Action Plans (EAP) or Allergy Action Plan (AAP), and Individualized Health Care Plans (IHCP) for all students diagnosed with a LTA, appropriate training of staff, availability of on-site medical equipment for quick response to life threatening allergic reactions, and other such guidelines to ensure students with LTA can fully participate in school activities without undue fear of harm from exposure to life threatening allergens.

Scope

This policy applies to all members of the Hopkinton Public School community. The Hopkinton Public School community includes, but is not limited to staff such as educators, administrators, school nurses, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to school-sponsored extracurricular activities, and/or contract workers. In addition, it includes students, while attending school and all school-sponsored extra-curricular activities and events, both on school property and at off-site locations.

Hopkinton Public Schools, with guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE), the school nurse leader and the individual school nurses, will develop and implement school-wide procedures for instances when a nurse is not immediately available, to minimize the risk of exposure to allergens for students with LTA. Hopkinton Public Schools will provide education and training for school personnel on the management of students with LTA.

The Hopkinton Public School district assumes no responsibility for managing the risks associated with the attendance of participants with known or unknown LTA at non-school-sponsored activities and/or events.

These procedures and protocols will include a district-wide plan for addressing life threatening allergic reactions. Hopkinton Public Schools will register with the MA Department of Public Health for the limited purpose of permitting properly trained school personnel to administer epinephrine by auto injector in a life-threatening situation during the school day when a school nurse is not immediately available, including field trips, and during extra-curricular and other school-sponsored activities. In consultation with the school physician, the designated school nurse leader or responsible school nurse will manage, and has final decision-making authority about the program. This person, or school nurses designated by this person, shall select the individuals authorized to administer epinephrine by auto injector. Persons authorized to administer epinephrine shall meet the requirements of section 105 CMR 210.004(B)(2).

It is the School Committee's expectation that specific building-based guidelines and protocols will take into account the health needs and well-being of all children, without discrimination or isolation of any particular child. It is the School Committee's belief that education and open and informative communication are vital for the creation of an environment with reduced risks for all students and their families. It is the policy of the School Committee that the guidelines shift as children advance through the primary grades and through secondary school, in order to assist children with LTA to assume more individual responsibility for maintaining their safety as they grow.

Successful allergy management is a partnership among the parent/guardian(s), the student, the prescribing physician and the Hopkinton Public Schools. It is the responsibility of the parent to notify their child’s school of their child’s allergies at the beginning of each school year. The student's physician must be involved in the diagnosis and treatment plan that the school is to follow. The plan must be reviewed annually, and revised as needed. No student will be excluded from school activities based solely on his/her allergies.

The Life Threatening Allergies policy will be posted on the Hopkinton Public Schools’ website.

Legal References:

MGL 71:37

105 CMR 210.000

Adapted References:

MASC Model Policies

Cross References:

JLA - Wellness

JLCD - Administering Medication to Students

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