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Allergy Safety

Bus & Field Trips

Do you Know What to Do?

Do you know how to recognize an anaphylactic reaction, and do you know what to do in an emergency? If you are a teacher, staff member, driver, or volunteer on a field trip, you need to be prepared. Understand the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and what to do. And before you leave, take some time to practise using the auto-injector with the rest of your team.

School Buses and other Transit

Since teachers are not riding on the daily bus commute, there may be little to no supervision of children, and accidents can occur. Unfortunately, some drivers may not be trained in emergency response to allergic reactions. There is a lot that schools can do to address these issues.

To help keep buses safer, school administrators can speak with the transit company to find out what emergency training in anaphylaxis they have received, and respond to any knowledge gaps with training. Many schools have a “no eating” policy on school buses because of the risk of life-threatening food allergy reactions. If you would like more information on school bus safety, please contact our office.

Field Trips

When students are in new situations, they can be at greater risk for a reaction because their normal routine is changed. School trips and special events are not part of the daily routine and may present new risks.

Before you go

  • Make sure allergic students are carrying their auto-injectors. Talk to them about their needs and concerns.
  • Teachers, staff and parent chaperones should carry a back-up auto-injector in case a second injection is necessary before medical help arrives.
  • Another useful policy is that all teachers and chaperones carry a cell phone.
  • Inform all adults travelling on the trip about which students have food allergies or other allergies, and make sure they have a copy of the Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan for each student.
  • Talk to all students about keeping their classmates with allergies safe.

Food and Eating

  • It is often best for young children to bring their own food from home and to have a “no sharing”policy in place.
  • Teachers should consult with allergic students ahead of time (and their parents/guardians) about foods or other allergens to avoid during the trip or event.
  • Any food that is part of the outing (like animal food at a petting zoo, food and materials used in craft projects) should be checked for potential allergens.
  • Keep an eye on students. In a new space, new risks could be taken and students may be less communicative with adults.

Emergency Steps

  • Instruct all teachers, drivers, and chaperones on how to use both types of auto-injector and have them practise before leaving for the trip. There is one auto-injector available in Canada, EpiPen® .
  • Review the 5 Emergency Steps with all adults and students.