NSW Department of Education shares a guide to managing allergic reactions in ECEC

NSW Department of Education shares a guide to managing allergic reactions in ECEC

by Freya Lucas

April 14, 2021

The New South Wales Regulatory Authority, the Department of Education, has prepared information for early childhood education and care (ECEC) services about managing allergic reactions in children.


Allergic reactions can be classed as mild, moderate or severe. Severe allergic reactions (known as anaphylaxis) are potentially life-threatening and must always be treated as a medical emergency.


The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) provides action plans for children which are  uniform and nationally recognised, designed to assist educators, parents, bystanders and others to recognise and manage an allergic reaction. 


Each plan acts as a practical tool to help identify the severity of the reaction and provides step-by-step actions to ensure that appropriate care is given to the child. 


As soon as an allergic reaction is identified, an action plan needs to be brought to the child and followed by staff. All the information needed to manage the reaction is contained on the plan.


There are three kinds of action plans for anaphylaxis.


  1. An ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis is red and blue and is a medical document for those people who have had an EpiPen prescribed. A copy should be kept with the prescribed EpiPen that is provided to the service.
  2. An ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis is orange and blue. A copy should be kept with each first-aid EpiPen in the service and can be used as a poster.
  3. An ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions is green and blue. This plan is for people who have allergies but have not been a prescribed EpiPen.


The information on all the plans is standardised, consistent and evidence based.


Under National Regulation 168 (2)(d), each service must have a medical conditions policy, and it is recommended that this policy contain provision for families to provide an ASCIA action plan on enrolment for known allergies.


Under National Regulation 90 (1)(c)(ii), services must follow a child’s medical management plan in the event of an incident relating to the child’s specific health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition. As the ASCIA action plan is the standard medical management plan for allergic reactions, it is to be closely followed in the event of an allergic reaction.


Further information about managing allergic reactions in an ECEC context is available here


To access the original coverage of this piece, please see here