A friendly reminder to all that we have students who, when exposed to certain allergens (such as nuts, fish, or eggs) may experience anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is defined as a sudden and severe allergic reaction which requires immediate treatment to prevent death from suffocation or cardiac arrest. Signs and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction can occur within minutes of exposure and up to two hours after coming into contact with the offending substance and include but are not limited to the following: hives, skin swelling, rash, redness, respiratory issues, watery eyes, gastrointestinal pains, nausea and cardiovascular complications. Failure to respond appropriately could result in death.
The safety, health and well being of students is the primary responsibility of parents but is also a shared responsibility among other parents, students, teachers, administrators, school employees and support staff. While it is impossible to eliminate all potential allergens from the school environment we can create an awareness that supports and promotes the management of Anaphylaxis in our school setting. Some practical strategies that we are asking our parent community to participate in are:
- Avoid the sharing of food, utensils and containers with others
- Discuss with your son(s) what anaphylactic shock looks like, their role and responsibility in creating a safe setting for others and what to do should a student demonstrate signs of an allergic reaction
- Wash hands before and after eating
- Since allergens can be hidden in school activities (science projects, game pieces, books etc) and not just present during meal time, encourage your sons to practice hand washing and the use of wet wipes in the classroom
- Check the ingredients of food, be allergen aware and avoid bringing potential allergens to school.
- Avoid sending nut or nut products to school as nut allergies are the most common type
Vancouver College and its entire school community wish to create an environment that is safe for all our students and with your commitment and dedication to being allergen aware we can manage anaphylaxis in our school setting. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Additional information on how you can contribute to this environment can be found here.