Providing a safe, supportive and nurturing environment is a goal of Chesterfield County Public Schools. This includes preventing and managing life-threatening allergic reactions so that all students can fully and safely participate in school activities.
Because it is difficult to predict the time or severity of an allergic reaction, it is vital to be prepared to respond rapidly in order to maintain a safe educational environment for all students. Supporting the success of a student with a life-threatening allergy requires a team approach and a coordinated plan, so that all team members understand their roles. Team members include the parent/guardian, student, school staff members, health-care provider, school nurse and community.
Additional information about life-threatening allergies is available at mychesterfieldschools.com.
It starts with the parent. The parent or guardian of a student with a life-threatening allergy is key to the process of keeping the child safe at school. They are at the center of developing a plan that works for their child. The parent or guardian should:
- Empower the student to manage his/her allergy, making sure he/she is knowledgeable about allergens; first symptoms of allergic/anaphylactic reaction; the importance of hand washing before and after eating; strategies for avoiding exposure to the allergen (including not sharing or trading food, if allergen is a specific food); how and when to tell an adult that he/she may be having an allergy-related problem; how to safely carry emergency medication, if student’s health emergency plan requires this; self-administration of medication, if ordered by student’s health-care provider.
- Promptly complete Chesterfield County Public Schools emergency information card annually.
- Collaborate annually with the school nurse and student’s health-care provider to create an emergency action plan for the student. Using guidelines from the school nurse, talk with the student’s health-care provider to make sure all appropriate measures are in place. Discuss with the student’s health-care provider whether or not emergency medication should accompany the student throughout the school day, including on the school bus.
- In addition to the school nurse, contact annually about the student’s life-threatening allergy the student’s teachers; student’s school counselor in middle and high school; the school’s cafeteria manager (provide physician documentation of food allergies; when the student eats school breakfasts or lunches, use the cafeteria’s online payment system because it lessens the chances of the student buying food he/she is allergic to); school system’s Transportation Department; coaches and other adults supervising before- or after-school activities; and adults supervising the student on field trips.
- May also speak with the school system’s nutritionist and the student’s bus driver.
- Provide the school with all daily and emergency medications prescribed by the student’s health-care provider and all necessary supplies (such as wipes), following school system medication administration policies. Keep medications up to date.
- Be aware that emergency medication is not accessible from the clinic during before- or after-school activities.
- If you suspect your child may have a disability, ask your child’s teacher, counselor or administrator for a referral to consider eligibility for 504 or special education services.
- Communicate any changes in the student’s health or medications to principal, school nurse, clinic assistant, teacher and other staff members.
- Notify the school nurse if the student will transfer during the school year to another Chesterfield school.
- At the end of the school year, retrieve student’s medication and any unused supplies from the school clinic. Medication not picked up by a parent will be discarded. The deadline to pick up medication will be announced in May or June.