Allergies and EpiPen Requirements
If your child has a life-threatening allergy, it is the parent/guardian responsibility to inform the school staff of the student’s allergen and expected responses. The student’s pediatrician or nurse practitioner should fill out and sign our Medication Administration Form detailing instructions on which medication(s) to administer during an allergic reaction.
If your child has a known allergy with potential for anaphylactic response, the parent/guardian must provide the school with two EpiPens to be kept in the school office. The parent/guardian must fill out our Allergy Action Plan Form and obtain physician or nurse practitioner signature on the form.
HCSD is aware that anaphylactic reactions can be life threatening. Each school has a minimum of two emergency EpiPens available for student use and our staff has been trained on how to administer them. These school EpiPens are for students who have a first-time allergic reaction at school to an unknown allergen.
Our school staff is instructed to assess for a mild allergic reaction (no treatment or Benadryl) vs. anaphylactic reaction (EpiPen + 911).
How to use an EpiPen: CLICK HERE
Mild reaction signs and symptoms:
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Itching, rash, or hives
Mild Reaction Treatment: Benadryl (if parent has provided along with Medication Administration Form) or assess for symptoms subsiding on their own.
- Monitor student’s symptoms to assess whether to wait for symptoms to subside or to administer Benadryl.
- If student does not have their own Benadryl supply at school, a call to the parent/guardian for pick up or administration.
Anaphylaxis (severe) signs and symptoms:
- Mouth: itching, swelling of the lips and/or tongue
- Skin: Itching, hives, redness, swelling
- Throat: itching, tightness, closure
- Lungs: Shortness of breath, cough, wheeze
- Heart: Weak pulse, dizziness, fainting
Severe Reaction Treatment: EpiPen
- Junior EpiPen: <55 lbs
- Adult EpiPen: >55 lbs
- When in doubt, use the adult sized EpiPen.
- Priority: maintaining an open airway.
- After administering EpiPen, call 911!
Preventing Allergic Reactions
- Know your students’ allergens
- Read food labels for hidden ingredients
- Avoid cross-contamination (don’t serve bulk foods to a child with an allergy)
- Avoid areas with insects as much as possible
- Be aware of products with Latex, which is a common allergen for students (avoid latex in rubber gloves, balloons, rubber bands, erasers, bandages, etc.)