Anaphylaxis

We cannot achieve a completely allergen-free environment in our centre. Unlike childcare centres, we have no onsite staff or management. With over 400 children attending playgroup each week, there will always be a small number who are anaphylactic. We can only adopt strategies to reduce the risk of a child having a severe allergic reaction.

No Nuts

We ask that members do NOT bring nuts or nut related food products to our centre. We are aware that children may suffer from other allergic reactions, but it is not possible to eliminate all food products such as milk products in bread or margarines.

If your child is anaphylactic

If you know that your child has a severe allergy (especially in relation to nuts), you must notify the ECP committee in writing and must also notify parents / carers in your child’s playgroup session.

You must closely supervise your child at all times whilst at the centre. You must have the appropriate medication and EpiPen on you at all times whilst onsite. We advise you have a risk management plan for your child and be proficient in administering First Aid if your child has an anaphylactic reaction.

We do not have EpiPens or emergency equipment at our centre; therefore it is imperative you have your own.

Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction

Mild to moderate reaction:

  • Swelling of lips, face, eyes
  • Hives or welts (raised red areas over face and body)
  • Tingling mouth
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting

Additional symptoms indicating a severe reaction:

  • Difficulty / noisy breathing
  • Pale and floppy (infants / young children)
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Swelling / tightness in the throat
  • Difficulty speaking / hoarse voice
  • Wheeze / persistent cough
  • Loss of consciousness and or collapse

A severe allergic reaction can be life threatening and requires immediate attention.

If an anaphylactic reaction occurs at the centre

If the reaction is mild to moderate, act immediately:

  • Stay with the child and call for help.
  • Contact the parent / carer.
  • Call the ambulance by dialling 000.
  • Watch carefully for any symptoms of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction).
  • At the earliest opportunity, complete the ECP’s Accident form online (or hard copies can be found at the back of the sign in book). We must be notified of the accident.

If the reaction is severe, act immediately:

  • Call the ambulance by dialling 000.
  • Use the EpiPen if required*.
  • At the earliest opportunity, complete the ECP’s Accident form online (or hard copies can be found at the back of the sign in book). We must be notified of the accident.

*EpiPens are NOT provided in the first aid Kit. EpiPens can be purchased without a prescription from pharmacies.

Help us prevent allergic reactions at our centre

  • Do NOT bring nuts or nut related food into the centre including: peanut butter, muesli bars, sesame bars, pastries (such as almond croissants), chocolate spreads (such as Nutella).
  • Parents / carers to know and avoid the causes of allergic reaction.
  • Children with severe food allergies should only eat lunches and snacks that have been prepared at home.
  • Minimise food sharing or swapping.
  • Practise good general cleanliness: vacuuming all floors after each session, wiping all benches / surfaces and high chairs after use and checking indoor / outdoor areas for dropped food.
  • Avoid introducing a new food to a baby at the centre in case they have an allergic reaction to it.

Additional information:

Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy
Anaphylaxis Australia
Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne