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5422, Life Threatening Allergic Reaction (Anaphylaxis) Policy

The North Colonie Central School District (“District”) Board of Education (“Board”) recognizes the increasing prevalence of potentially life-threatening allergies among children. It is the goal of the District’s Board to reduce the number of and respond appropriately to incidents of life-threatening allergic reactions among students within the school system. The purpose of this policy will be to raise the level of awareness as well as provide education and training to District personnel about the problem of life-threatening allergies, in order to create a safer environment for children with serious allergies.

Regulations shall be put in place to minimize the risk of anaphylactic reactions among students through identification of students who may be susceptible to an anaphylaxis reaction, the dissemination of information to District personnel about such students and allergic reactions and providing those persons training in emergency responses. Different regulations for elementary and secondary schools have been created due to the increased maturity and responsibility levels of secondary age children. The District is aware that it must balance confidentiality concerns while providing a safe, positive learning environment.

Anaphylaxis, sometimes called “allergic shock,” is a severe allergic reaction, which, if untreated, can lead to rapid death. The most frequently implicated food triggers include, but are not limited to, peanuts (most common), tree nuts (i.e. hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews etc.), cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy and fresh fruit. Non-food triggers include, but are not limited to, insect venom, medications, latex, and rigorous exercise (rarely).

Anaphylaxis can occur within seconds of exposure or after several hours. Any of a combination of the following symptoms may signal the onset of a reaction: hives, itching (on any part of the body), swelling (on any body parts – especially eyes, lips, face, tongue), red watery eyes, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, change of voice, coughing, wheezing, throat tightness or closing, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, sense of doom, dizziness, fainting or loss of consciousness, and change of skin color. To the extent that an anaphylactic reaction can be predicted, common risk factors include asthma (even if well controlled) and previous anaphylaxis.

Cross-ref: 5420, Student Health Services

Education Law §§901 et seq.
Public Health Law §§680; 8 NYCRR Part 136
The Provision of Nursing Tasks and Health-Related Activities in the School Setting for Students with Special Health Care Needs, State Education Department, March 1995

Adopted: January 23, 2006