Life Threatening Allergies Guide

Click here to download Life Threatening Allergies Guidelines (PDF)

The goal of the St. Joseph Public Schools regarding Life Threatening Allergies is to engage in a system-wide effort to prepare for any allergic reactions and respond appropriately to any allergy emergencies that arise.


To the extent possible, the principal of each school shall be responsible for the following:

  • Familiarize teachers with the Allergy Action Plan/Individual Health Care Plan of their students and any other staff member who has contact with student on a need-to-know basis.

  • In conjunction with nurses, provide in-service training and education for staff regarding life-threatening allergies, symptoms, risk reduction procedures and emergency procedures including demonstration on how to use the Epi-pen.

  • Send letters to inform all parents regarding Life Threatening Allergies (K-5).

  • Discuss Life Threatening Allergies at Kindergarten orientation and the protocol of St. Joseph Public Schools.

  • Post the school's emergency protocol on LTAs in appropriate locations in buildings as well as on the school website.

  • Notify staff the locations of Epi-pens in the school.

  • A contingency plan will be in place and understood by all staff and students in the event the nurse is not in the office or in the building. Call 911.


Each teacher shall have the following responsibilities:

  • Receive and review the Allergy Action Plan/Individual Health Care Plan, in collaboration with the nurse and parent(s) of any student(s) in your classroom with Life Threatening Allergies.

  • Leave information in an organized, prominent and accessible format for substitute teacher.

  • Participate in in-service training for students with life-threatening allergies

  • In collaboration with the nurse, building principal, and input from the parents, of the allergic child set a classroom protocol regarding the management of food in the classroom.
  • Participate in the planning of a student's re-entry to school after an anaphylactic reaction.

  • Prepare a LTA folder for a Substitute Teacher which includes the Allergy Action Plan for students in the classroom that have LTA's, the names of the students in the class with LTA's, and identify another staff member that will assist the substitute in the event of an allergic reaction.

  • At the beginning of the school year, send home a letter (please use the letter template provided in this guidebook) to the parents making them aware that a student in your classroom has a LTA and ask for cooperation in eliminating the allergy-causing food from snacks brought into the classroom for their student as well as classroom parties.


Each parent of a student with an LTA shall have the following responsibilities:

  • Inform the school nurse and building secretary of your child's allergies prior to the opening of school (or as soon as possible after a diagnosis).

  • Arrange to meet with the school nurse to develop an Allergy Action Plan/Individual Health Care Plan (AAP/IHCP) for the student and provide a signed medical report from the child's treating physician.

  • Provide the school a list of foods and ingredients to be avoided, and provide a list of safe or acceptable foods that can be served to your child.

  • Provide the school nurse and building secretary with enough up-to-date emergency medications (including Epi-pens) so they can be placed in all required locations for the current school year.

  • Complete and submit all required medication forms.

  • Provide a MEDIC ALERT ID for your child.

  • Notify nurse and building secretary of upcoming field trip as soon as possible and provide Epi-pen to be taken on field trips as stated in the field trip policy.

  • Encourage students to wash hands before and after handling food.

  • Teach your child to:

    • Recognize the first symptoms of an allergic/anaphylactic reaction.

    • Know where the epinephrine auto-injector is kept and who has access to the epinephrine.

    • Communicate clearly as soon as s/he feels a reaction is starting.

    • Carry his/her own epinephrine auto-injector when appropriate.

    • Not share snacks, lunches or drinks.

    • Understand the importance of hand-washing before and after eating.

    • Report teasing, bullying and threats to adult authority.

    • Take as much responsibility as possible for his/her own safety.

  • As children get older, teach them to:

    • Communicate the seriousness of the allergy.

    • Communicate symptoms as they appear.

    • Read labels.

    • Administer own epinephrine auto-injector and be able to train others in its use.

  • Inform the nurse and the building secretary of any changes in the child's LTA status.

  • Provide the school with the licensed provider's statement if the student no longer has allergies.

  • Go on field trips and out of school activities with your child, whenever possible.

  • Provide bag of snacks for your child's classroom along with safe foods for special occasions.

  • Provide appropriate lunches If accommodations cannot be made in the cafeteria for the child's allergy.

  • If you child participates in an after-school club (chess, soccer, language, etc.), meet with the club leader to review the Allergy Action Plan/Individual Health Care Plan with them.


Each student with a Life Threatening Allergy shall be responsible for the following:

  • Take responsibility for avoiding allergens.

  • Do not trade or share foods.

  • Wash hands before and after eating.

  • Learn to recognize symptoms of an allergic reaction.

  • Promptly inform an adult as soon as accidental exposure occurs or symptoms appear.

  • Take more responsibility for your allergies as you get older.

  • Develop a relationship with the school nurse and/or another trusted adult in the school to assist in identifying issues related to the management of the allergy in the school.


The food services department shall have the following responsibilities:

  • Present food that is free of peanut/tree nuts to the best of their knowledge.

  • Supply cleaning materials for washing and sanitizing tables.

  • Provide a separate nut-free table for parents requesting one for their student(s).

  • Provide in-service for food service employees regarding safe food handling practices to avoid cross-contamination with potential food allergens.

  • Wear non-latex gloves.

  • Participate in in-service training for students with life-threatening allergies.

  • Post all LTA students, along with their picture, in a location where staff members can view but not visible to the public.