Allergic reactions can span a wide range of symptoms. The most severe and potentially life-threatening reaction is anaphylaxis. This protocol is to be used for students who are at risk for anaphylaxis and in circumstances where a previously undiagnosed life-threatening allergic response occurs.
Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening medical condition occurring in allergic individuals after exposure to their specific allergens. Anaphylaxis refers to a collection of symptoms affecting multiple systems in the body, the most dangerous of which are breathing difficulties and a drop in blood pressure or shock, which are potentially fatal. The most common causes of anaphylaxis in children include allergies to:
- Foods (most commonly peanuts, tree nuts, milk, dairy products, soy, wheat, fish and shell fish)
- Insect stings (yellow jackets, bees, wasps, hornets)
Anaphylaxis can occur immediately or up to two hours following exposure/ ingestion to the allergen. It is important to:
- Identify students at risk
- Have appropriate preventative policies
- Be prepared to handle an emergency