3420 Policy – Anaphylaxis Prevention

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that may involve systems of the entire body. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical treatment and follow-up care by an allergist/immunologist.

Bellingham Public Schools expects school administrators, teachers and support staff to be informed and aware of life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and how to deal with the resulting medical emergencies. For students, some common life-threatening allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, fish, bee or other insect stings, latex and some medications. Affected students require planned care and support during the school day and during school-sponsored activities. Additionally, any student could potentially have a life-threatening allergic reaction even without a history of such.

The parents/guardian is responsible for informing the school about their student’s potential risk for anaphylaxis and for ensuring the provision of ongoing health information and necessary medical supplies. The district will take reasonable measures to avoid allergens for affected students. The district will also train all staff in the awareness of anaphylaxis and prepare them to respond to emergencies. Additionally, student specific training will be provided for appropriate personnel.

Even with the district’s best efforts, staff and parents/guardians need to be aware that it is not possible to achieve a completely allergen-free environment. However, the district will take precautions to reduce the risk of a student having an anaphylactic reaction by developing strategies to minimize the presence of allergens in schools.

The district will maintain at designated school locations a supply of epinephrine auto injectors based on the number of students enrolled at the school. Undesignated epinephrine auto injectors must be obtained with a prescription in the name of the school by a licensed health professional within the scope of their prescribing authority and must be accompanied by a standing order protocol for their administration.

In the event a student with a current prescription for an epinephrine auto injector on file at the school experiences an anaphylactic event, the school nurse or designated trained school personnel may use the school supply of epinephrine auto injectors to respond if the student’s supply is not immediately available. In the event a student with a current prescription for epinephrine on file with the school or a student with undiagnosed anaphylaxis experiences an anaphylactic event, the school nurse may utilize the school supply of epinephrine to respond under the standing order protocol.

The school’s supply of epinephrine auto injectors does not negate parent/guardian responsibility to ensure that they provide the school with appropriate medication and treatment orders pursuant to RCW 28A.210.320 if their student is identified with a life-threatening allergy.

The superintendent will establish procedures to support this policy and to ensure:

  1. Rescue protocol in cases of suspected anaphylaxis will follow OSPI’s Guidelines for the Care of Students with Anaphylaxis (2009);
  2. A simple and standardized format for emergency care plans is utilized;
  3. A protocol is in place to ensure emergency care plans are current and completed;
  4. Medication orders are clear and unambiguous;
  5. Training and documentation are a priority; and

Each school’s supply of epinephrine auto injectors, if any, is maintained pursuant to manufacturer’s instructions and district medication policy and procedures.

Approved By: Greg Baker
Adopted/Previous Revisions: 06/11/09; 03/23/11; 09/10/14
Adopted/Revised: 03/28/18
Updated: 09/22/22
Superintendent or Board Approved: Superintendent Approved
Cross References: Content

Policy 3419 – Self-Administration of Asthma and Anaphylaxis Medications

Policy 3418 – Response to Student Injury or Illness

Policy 3416 – Medication at School

Legal References: Content


RCW 28A.210.383 Anaphylaxis – Policy guidelines – Procedures – Reports

Management Resources: Content

Policy News, August 2018 School nurses: assuring a safe and healthy school environment

Policy News, December 2013 Discretionary new epinephrine autoinjector law allows districts to maintain and administer their own supply of epinephrine autoinjectors.

Policy News, August 2012 Anaphylaxis Prevention and Response

Policy News, February 2009 Anaphylaxis Prevention Policy Required

OSPI, March 2009 Guidelines for the Care of Students with Anaphylaxis