Health and Immunization
Guidelines for the Care of Students with Food Allergies
In response to the increase in students with diagnosed food allergies at risk for anaphylaxis, Senate Bill 27 (82nd Legislative Session, 2011) amended Chapter 38 of the Texas Education Code (TEC) by adding §38.0151. The statute requires the board of trustees of each school district and the governing body, or appropriate officers of open-enrollment charter schools, to adopt and administer a policy for the care of students with diagnosed food allergies at risk for anaphylaxis. The policy must be based on guidelines developed by the state Commissioner of Health in consultation with the Food Allergy Ad Hoc Committee. In addition, a school district or open-enrollment charter school should review and revise its policy as necessary to ensure it is consistent with the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) guidelines. The law further states that each school year, the board of trustees of each school district and the governing body of each open-enrollment charter school must post a summary of the guidelines on the district's or school's Internet website, including instructions on obtaining access to the complete guidelines document.
The guidelines document includes information about how to:
- Discuss federal and state legislation
- Define and discuss a food allergy and anaphylaxis
- Discuss the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction
- Discuss how to treat food allergies and anaphylaxis, and how to manage food allergies in the school setting
- Identify students with food allergies at risk for anaphylaxis
- Develop, implement, communicate, and monitor emergency care plans, 504 plans, or individualized health care plans (RMA Emergency Care Plan)
- Reduce exposure risk through environmental controls
- Provide training for school staff on food allergies, anaphylaxis, and emergency response
- Review policy and procedures after an anaphylactic reaction
The Guidelines for the Care of Students with Food Allergies document is intended to serve as a reference and illustrative guide for local school boards or charter school leadership. It can be used to help create and implement school district policies and administrative regulations. This document should not serve as treatment guidelines for healthcare practitioners. Any portion of this document may be reproduced for educational purposes or policy development.
The document and other information can also be found by visiting https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/schoolhealth/allergiesandanaphylaxis/.
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