What Is a Food Allergy Action Plan Form?
Having a food allergy action plan form makes you better prepared for an allergic emergency. It must include a list of symptoms that will inform the caregiver or the child when the epinephrine auto-injector is needed. Food allergy forms are especially important in schools and daycare centers.
Severe allergic reactions can happen anytime, anywhere. Although the symptoms can go away with proper treatment, they can come back later when exposed to allergens. If you have a child who suffers from severe allergies know this already. Medication, certain foods, latex, and insect bites are but few of the causes of allergies.
Whenever parents are not with the child who has food allergies, a food allergy action plan form can save the child’s life. It will arm the nurses, teachers, coaches, relatives, and babysitters with the right information needed in case of an emergency.
This article covers the following topics:
1. Information, that every food allergy action plan should provide
2. Types of school health care plans
3. Best practices for schools
4. Best practices for school nurse
5. Best practices for parents
6. A trustful digital solution for the food allergy form
What Information Should a Food Allergy Action Plan Form Provide?
There are no specific requirements in creating a food allergy plan. You can ask your doctor about it after a diagnosis. They usually already have templates ready for child allergy action plans. Schools and other organizations also have their own food allergy action form. What is important is that the firm has the necessary allergy information.
- Patient’s personal information and a photo for identification
- Offending allergens
- Warning signs or symptoms of offending allergens
- Treatment for a food-allergic reaction
- Emergency contact information
- Permission to or not to self-administer epinephrine
- A licensed health care provider’s medication authorization and dosing requirements
- Parent’s consent for the school to administer medication
Types of School Health Care Plans
A food allergy action plan form is a vital part of a school health care plan. A school health care plan is a set of documents that indicates a patient's medical condition. The plan includes the necessary information about a child's food allergy, its proper management, and what to do in case the child experiences an allergic reaction while at school. It may also outline the responsibilities of school staff, their training, and the services needed to help keep the child safe.
The three common types of school care plans are:
- Emergency care plan (ECP) – This is a medical plan provided by the child’s doctor. It includes instructions on treating the child's food allergy reactions when the child is at school. The ECP may be a part of the IHCP.
- Individual health care plan (IHCP or IHP) – The IHCP provides the school with the needed medical information for students with special health needs. Since an ECP may not be enough to keep a child with food allergies safe, an IHCP may be necessary. An IHCP will help you request the school to make changes to the school environment that will help keep your child safe, such as procedures for classroom meals or snacks and procedures during field trips.
- 504 Plan – A 504 plan is a legally binding document that offers due process protection. To qualify, the child must have an "impairment" which, according to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is a "physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities." Impairment, in this case, includes anything that affects a child's ability to walk, breathe, or eat. A food allergy qualifies as an impairment under Section 504.
Best Practices for Schools
The following are recommended best practices for schools:
- Have an effective plan for preventing life-threatening allergic reactions in all classrooms, food service areas, classroom projects, outdoor activities, field trips, and in all instructional areas.
- Substitute allergen-free food and non-food items in rooms where a child with a food allergy plan are or may be present.
- Incorporate non-allergenic foods or non-food items in PTA functions, fundraising, and other gatherings.
- Establish cleaning procedures in common areas such as hallways, libraries, and computer labs.
- Avoid displaying food allergens in hallways.
- Follow appropriate cleaning protocols after school events that involve food.
- Train all faculty and staff in the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.
Training could include:
- Recognizing the symptoms of an allergy attack
- Assessing high-risk areas
- Preventing exposure to food allergens
- Responding to an emergency.
- Administering an epinephrine auto-injector
Best Practices for School Nurse
- Make sure parents of children with life threatening allergies complete the allergy history form and the food allergy action plan form.
- Review allergy related forms
- Complete the IHCP
- Formulate an emergency protocol
- Inform other staff members about relevant health concerns, EAP, IHCP, and emergency protocol
- Make sure students with suspected allergic reactions is always accompanied but an adult
- Make sure the staff members know where to find the epinephrine auto-injector and antihistamine
- Train the staff to administer an antihistamine and epinephrine auto-injector
- Educate students, parents, teachers, substitutes, and volunteers about preventing, recognizing and responding to food allergy attacks
- Do not do anything that could isolate, endanger, stigmatize, or harass students with severe food allergies
- Make sure Emergency Medical Service (EMS) has the medical information for students having an allergic reaction
- Make sure emergency procedures for transportation companies or school bus service are in place.
Best Practices for Parents
- Inform the school nurse about your child's food allergies before the school year beings or right after diagnosis
- Complete and submit to the school admin the food allergy action plan
- Meet with staff members, including the school nurse and discuss the development and implementation of the Food Allergy Action Plan. Work with them to establish a prevention plan
- Decide if and where you need to keep additional antihistamine and epinephrine auto-injectors in the school. Make sure to have one in the school clinic
- Provide the school with epinephrine auto-injectors
- Provide allergen-free food for your child
- Consider giving your child a medical alert bracelet
- Go with your child on field trips and attend school events and class parties if possible and if necessary
- Talk to the school admin about emergency procedures for transportation companies or school bus service
A Trustful Digital Solution for Food Allergy Forms
Lumiform's mobile app actively supports you in creating food allergy forms. You can easily create an ingredient list and flexibly adjust it. With changing offers, the allergen form can be transferred.
Everything is done conveniently via tablet or smartphone - online or offline. The desktop software is used to create the test and allergen lists and then evaluate the collected data. This significantly reduces the risk of documentation errors and reputational damage.
Other benefits of a digital allergen list application include:
- With the help of the flexible form builder, any individual paper list is converted into a digital checklist within minutes.
- Corrective actions for problem areas or items identified during the inspection can be assigned to responsible staff from the app.
- Get an overview of food production quality through analyses.