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    Hillsdale Public Schools Food Allergy Guidelines
     
     

     Hillsdale Public Schools Food Allergy Guidelines

    The administration and staff of the Hillsdale Public Schools recognizes the growing number of students with potentially life threatening food allergies.  As a district, we are committed to the safety of all our students. As school nurses, we recognize the responsibility to develop appropriate food allergy plans that detail emergency management and address conditions to prevent exposure to specific allergens.  It is our belief that a collaborative partnership between school and family is the best way to achieve this goal while thoughtfully increasing the student’s independence.

     

    These guidelines are intended to address the specific needs of food allergic students and the creation of a safe environment for all students.   Although the medical and health related needs for each student are unique, the goal of these guidelines is to establish consistent practices throughout the district.  It is important to note that the implementation of these guidelines will be considered in light of the developmental level of the students and may be modified to meet individual needs. 

     

    A collaborative relationship within the entire school community can provide a safe and healthy learning environment.  As a result, parents and their children with food allergies will be able to make the transition between the safety of their home environment into the expanding world of school.  When done well, this is one of the greatest lessons that a child with food allergies can learn. At the same time, classmates without food allergies can develop a greater understanding of individual differences along with the capacity for flexibility and increased compassion.

    Please see the attached link for a document from the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Organization concerning the latest national food allergy facts and statistics:

    https://www.foodallergy.org/sites/default/files/migrated-files/file/Final-FARE-Food-Allergy-Facts-Statistics.pdf 








    Required Forms for All Students with Life-Threatening Food Allergies

    Students with life-threatening food allergies are required to submit a Food Allergy Packet, along with the prescribed epinephrine auto-injector and any other medications specified in the Food Allergy Plan, at the beginning of each school year.  This 5 page packet includes the following forms:

    1. Food Allergy Plan (signed by physician and parent)
    2. Authorization for Emergency Administration of the Epinephrine Auto-Injector
    3. Authorization for Emergency Administration of the Epinephrine Auto-Injector by Designated Individual
    4. Parent/Guardian Permission to Release and Exchange Confidential Information
    5. Allergen-Free Table Form 

    Classroom & Cafeteria Interventions and Field Trips

    Ann Blanche Smith and Meadowbrook Schools

     

    Classroom Interventions and Celebrations

     

    All classrooms (not the cafeteria) are “Peanut/Tree Nut Free” and must observe the following guidelines:

    1. For daily snacks, products containing peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, etc.) and their oils are not permitted.  Parents are required to check all ingredient labels and also understand that products with labeling such as “may contain nuts” or “produced in a facility that processes nuts” are not acceptable.
    2. No class parties or celebrations including food are permitted with the exceptions of a grade-level picnic at both elementary schools, the Kindergarten Ice Pop Social at both elementary schools, and the Kindergarten Thanksgiving feast at Meadowbrook School.  Parties and celebrations can be fun and meaningful without including food.  For some great ideas that are safe and easy, please see this link: 

    https://mainehealth.org/-/media/lets-go/files/childrens-program/schools/k-5-school/ideasfornonfoodcelebrations5.pdf?la=en.  

    1.   If parents or teachers choose to distribute goody bags, they must contain non-edible

                items.

    1.   Students are advised to wash their hands before and after consuming food.
    2.   Students are not permitted to share or swap food.
    3.   There are several days throughout the school year when students will eat their lunches in

                the classrooms (Election Day and special assemblies).  Parental notice will be provided in 

                Friday’s Folder.  On these days, lunches brought to school must be free of peanuts, tree

                nuts, and their oils.

    1.   All classroom activities, holiday projects, and PTA/FFA-sponsored activities taking place 

                during the school day must use non-edible items.

    1.   No latex balloons are permitted.

     

    General Nutritional Snack Guidelines: Snacks should contain no more than 8 grams of total fat per serving and no more than 2 grams of saturated fat per serving.  Sugar cannot be the first ingredient.

    1. All beverages shall not exceed 12 ounces, except water or milk containing 2% or less fat. 
    2. Suggested snacks include: fruits, vegetables, pretzels, cheese & crackers, and yogurt. 
    3. Please see this link for the CDC’s National Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/nutrition/facts.htm

     

    Cafeteria Interventions

     

    1. All food served in the school cafeteria is provided by an outside food service vendor and may contain allergens, including peanuts and tree nuts.  It is critical to remember that the ingredients in all products, along with labeling, are always changing. The responsibility of checking food labels and deciding to purchase remains with the parent(s).  Please see the following link to the Hillsdale Schools website under “Child Nutrition Information” for additional information concerning our food service vendor and Wellness Policy. https://www.hillsdaleschools.com/domain/439 
    2. While we believe that the safest lunch or snack is the one brought from home, our current food service vendor offers all parents of food allergic students the option of participating in their “Food Allergy Management Program.”  Please see the following link to the Hillsdale Schools website under “Child Nutrition Information” for further information about this program. https://www.hillsdaleschools.com/domain/439 
    3. A Peanut/Tree Nut Free table is available to interested students with Peanut/Tree Nut allergies.  If a student without such an allergy is invited to sit at this table, he or she must have a peanut/tree nut free lunch.
    4. An allergen-free table for other allergens (e.g. milk, soy, etc.) is an available option for all food allergic students with Food Allergy Plans.
    5. Students are not permitted to share or swap food.
    6. Students are advised to wash their hands before and after consuming food. 
    7. Lunch aides will provide hand wipes to students with lunches containing peanuts and tree nuts.
    8. All peanut/tree nut free tables will be cleaned by custodial staff with dedicated sponges and towels.
    9. Additional interventions may be implemented to meet individual student needs.

     

    Field Trips 

     

    1. A school nurse or trained epinephrine designee will be available during all school-sponsored field trips.
    2. Parents of food allergic students are encouraged, but not required, to accompany their children on field trips.
    3. In an effort to promote the health and safety of all students, eating on the bus is prohibited.
    4. The appropriateness of all field trips will be evaluated in consideration of the needs of all students.  For example, a trip to dairy farm would not be scheduled for a class with a milk-allergic student.

     

    References

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    Food Allergy Research and Education Organization

    National Association of School Nurses

    New Jersey State Department of Education

    New Jersey State Department of Health

    Kids with Food Allergies/Division of Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

     

    Resources

    American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org

    Food Allergy Research and Education Organization, www.foodallergy.org

    National Association of School Nurses, www.nasn.org

    New Jersey State Department of Education, www.state.nj.us

    New Jersey State Department of Health,

    http://www.nj.gov/education/students/safety/health/services/allergies.pdf 

    Kids with Food Allergies http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/recipes-diet.aspx