Medical Peril

Safety Plan for Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions

Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes, Epilepsy/Seizure, Other Life-threatening Illnesses


The Ministry of Education released Policy Program Memorandum 161: Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions. School Boards across Ontario are expected to implement PPM161. The HDSB has created several Administrative Procedures to better support students who have Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes, Epilepsy, and Seizure Disorders. With the revised HDSB procedures, students who have any of the listed prevalent medical conditions must have a Plan of Care in place. Furthermore, the Plan of Care must be co-created by the student, parent, and school staff. In our school, we have several students who are at-risk for potentially life-threatening allergies. Most are allergic to food and some are at risk for insect sting allergies. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that involves one or more body systems. It can result from reactions to foods, insect stings, medications, latex, or other substances. While rare, anaphylaxis can lead to death if untreated. Education and awareness are key to keeping students with potentially life-threatening allergies safe.

Our school plan for students with prevalent medical conditions including anaphylaxis is designed to ensure that students at-risk are identified, strategies are in place to minimize the potential for accidental exposure, and staff and key volunteers are trained to respond in an emergency situation.

Identification of Students At Risk:

At the time of registration and through the annual Verification Process, parents (or students age 18 years) are asked about their son or daughter’s medical condition(s), including whether their son or daughter is at risk of anaphylaxis and asthma. With parent/student consent staff is made aware of these students. It is the responsibility of the parent or student who is age 18 years to:

Emergency Protocol:

An individual Plan of Care for Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes, and Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder must be signed by the student and parent (if the student is under 18). The school cannot assume responsibility for treatment in the absence of such a protocol. A copy of the Plan will be shared and stored according to the consent provided on the Plan of Care (i.e. main office, cafeteria).

Adults will listen to the concerns of the student who usually knows when he/she is having a reaction, even before signs appear. It is not assumed that students will always be able to properly self-administer their auto-injector. To respond effectively during an emergency, a routine has been established and practiced. During an emergency:

Creating a Minimized Allergen School Environment:

Individuals at risk of anaphylaxis must learn to avoid specific triggers. While the key responsibility lies with the individual and his/her family, the school community must also be aware. Special care is taken to avoid exposure to allergy-causing substances. The cafeteria services in our schools operated by Compass Group have Allergy Alert posters in the servery. As well, Compass' serveries have a Gross Nut-Free practice that means that the serveries do not have any product with nuts as an ingredient including peanut oils, chocolate bars that contain nuts and peanut butter. The risk of accidental exposure to a food allergen is significantly diminished by such measures. Given that anaphylaxis can be triggered by minute amounts of an allergen when ingested, students with food allergies must be encouraged to follow certain guidelines including:


Each year there will be training for staff which includes an overview of anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy/seizure disorders, and emergency procedures for each of these prevalent medical conditions. With parent/student consent, substitute teachers will be advised to review the student’s Plan of Care.

Communication Plan:

The following are strategies our school uses to keep our families informed:

Although we cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment, we can all do our part to minimize the risks.