ESD 112 Insurance Programs Focus on Risk
Some allergens such as food, medication, insect stings, and latex can cause a severe, systemic allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening medical condition occurring in children with allergies after exposure to their specific allergen(s). For those students at risk for anaphylaxis, prevention should be the most important aspect of their management in the school setting.

An emergency care plan (ECP) must be implemented that addresses all aspects of a student’s school day, including materials used for classroom projects, all food provided by the district or its representatives, after school and off-campus activities and special events. This plan and staff who are knowledgeable regarding preventive measures and well prepared to handle severe allergic reactions, can save the life of a child.

The following are some questions to help ensure your district is prepared:

  1. Does your district have a written policy and procedure in place addressing anaphylaxis prevention and response? (Sample Policy/Procedure WSSDA 3420)
  2. Does the District have a clear process for parents/guardians to report student allergies to the school?
  3. Upon receiving student diagnosis, is an individualized nursing care plan (emergency care plan, ECP) developed by the school nurse (R.N.) with assistance from the parent/guardian and licensed health care professional?
  4. Does the ECP identify the student’s allergies, symptoms of exposure, strategies to reduce exposure, and how to respond to an allergic reaction?
  5. Does the District provide annual life-threatening allergy awareness training for all school staff?
  6. Is specific training provided to staff responsible for following the students’ plans? This may include, but is not limited to, teachers, paraprofessionals, clerical staff, food service workers, and bus drivers.
  7. Is there a process to identify high risk events and activities for students with life threatening allergies, such as food brought from home, school lunches, ingredients in art, science and other projects, parties and celebrations, field trips, athletics, and other school-sponsored events?
  8. Once identified, is there a documented process for working with the school nurse to ensure student allergy needs are accommodated?
  9. Are allergen-safe zones/tables available? Does the district have a cleaning and sanitation procedure for surfaces that may contact food? Does your District discourage the sharing of food, utensils, and containers?
  10. Does your District maintain a supply of epinephrine auto injectors? If yes, do you have a process for maintaining the supply pursuant to manufacturer’s instructions?
  11. If the treatment plan includes self-administration of medications does the process comply with district policy and procedure (sample model P/P 3419, Self- Administration of Asthma and Anaphylaxis Medication)?
  12. If a student experiences an anaphylactic reaction at school, is there a debriefing and planning meeting prior to the student’s reentry to school?
If you answered no to any of the above questions or want to learn more, please see the following resources or reach out to your assigned Risk Services Consultant.


If you have any questions, please contact Trista Greenwood at or Wendy Niehaus at
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