Between 1998-2018 the number of hospital admissions due to food anaphylaxis in children increased 339% and during this time frame at least 66 school-aged children are known to have died as a result of food anaphylaxis.
Carla Jones, chief executive of Allergy UK, said: “These guidelines will provide schools with very clear and supportive information on how they can keep their pupils with allergy safe and do, we believe, meet a real need for both schools and parents.
“The need to improve awareness and understanding in schools is a priority for us and the launch of the guidelines is a real step forward and something we will promote through all our ongoing work with schools.”
The new guidelines will support all school staff to recognise the symptoms of anaphylaxis, administer adrenaline early and encourage a ‘whole school’ approach to allergy management.
Professor Graham Roberts, president of the British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology, added: “Healthcare Professionals looking after children with allergies often hear about reactions that occur at school and often it is clear that they were avoidable. Schools wanted to help as best they can and work with parents to put the best possible policies in place but there has little guidance available as to what this looked like.
“With this new model policy, there is a really helpful structure that can be developed locally, in partnership between the school, parents and pupils to create something which works best for them and keeps children safer.”