District Procedures for Food Allergies
Severe allergies are serious and can be fatal. Anaphylaxis, a potentially life‐threatening allergic reaction, can be triggered by exposure to one or more allergens, including foods, insect stings, drugs, and latex products. Anaphylaxis can affect multiple areas of the body, such as skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and the cardiovascular system. Symptoms can include severe headache, nausea and vomiting, sneezing and coughing, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, itching all over the body, and anxiety. The most dangerous symptoms include difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, and shock—each of which can be fatal.
The risk of accidental exposure to allergens can be reduced in the school setting if schools partner with students, parents, and healthcare professionals to minimize risks and to provide a safe educational environment for severely allergic or food‐intolerant students. The Ballard School District cannot guarantee that a student will never experience an allergy‐related event while at school. However, the District has created these procedures to reduce the risk so that those students with life‐threatening allergies will not experience an allergy‐related event at school.
The most common life‐threatening allergies are to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish. For this reason, these procedures outline steps regarding nut allergies. These procedures will be followed for any other life‐threatening allergy, where appropriate. For those students who are highly allergic to nuts, contact with nut products can cause a life‐threatening anaphylaxis reaction. The only way to protect students who are highly allergic to nuts or nut products is to minimize the nut product exposure in their environment.
- All teachers will be encouraged to eliminate peanut or tree nut food items of any kind from instruction or any school project related to the curriculum.
- Peanut butter jars or any nut product jar may not be used for storage of classroom
- No homemade treats or food items are permitted in K‐12 classrooms. All treats must be commercially prepared and packaged for distribution with intact ingredient labels.
- Food preparation will only be allowed with commercially prepared or packaged food in the academic curriculum at the elementary level.
- All students and staff will be discouraged from eating any peanut and tree nut food products in the classroom.
- All students that eat a cold lunch will be encouraged to wash their hands after eating.
- Note: Antibacterial gels and liquids kill germs, but they do not remove protein from the skin and should not be used in place of soap and water and/or wipes.
- To prevent cross‐contamination, cafeteria tables will be washed after each meal rotation.
A yearly update/training on allergy procedures will take place for staff.