The number of students with life-threatening allergies has increased substantially over the last several years. As with all children with special health care needs, it is important that students with life-threatening allergies are able to access all education and education related benefits. For these children, every allergic reaction has the possibility to develop into a life-threatening and potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction. This can occur within minutes of exposure to the allergen. Some students who are very sensitive to their allergen may react to just touching or inhaling the allergen. For others, ingesting even the tiniest portion of their allergen or an insect sting can cause death.
The School Nurse is responsible for coordinating the management of students with life threatening allergies (LTA) in school. The management of LTA takes a multidisciplinary approach of collaboration between the family, student, principal/administrator, nurse, classroom teacher(s)/specialists, school psychologist/guidance counselor, food services/cafeteria staff, lunch/recess paraprofessionals, transportation department, and custodial staff. Awareness, prevention and emergency preparedness are crucial elements in the management of a student with LTA.