Push for allergy training legislation in light of reaction at daycare
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Push for allergy training legislation in light of severe reaction at daycare

Push for allergy training legislation in light of severe reaction at daycare

by Jason Roberts

March 27, 2024
Push for allergy training legislation

The National Allergy Council (NAC) is advocating to increase allergy training requirements for early childhood and education (ECEC) professionals following the hospitalisation of a two-year old being fed chocolate cake at daycare, despite knowledge of her dairy allergy.


Chloe Pike, the mother of two-year-old Willow, grew concerned when her child’s arms, legs and feet began to bleed and swell, the ABC reported.


Following scans and tests, Ms Pike was warned by doctors due to the severity of her condition, she may not be able to walk again.


Fortunately, Willow responded well to her treatment but her mother was disappointed to learn the reaction was due to her daycare’s failure to adhere to disclosed food allergies.


Following the incident, Ms Pike was not satisfied with the daycare’s response and has withdrawn Willow from their care, along with a complaint to the Department of Communities.


“They just stood down the chef and they did their investigation and that was pretty much it,” she shared with the ABC.


A spokesperson for the provider at the centre of the incident has said it will be reviewing the case, stating; “Our company strives to provide every child, family and team member the opportunity to access a safe and supportive environment and we will always continue to reflect on our practices to ensure we are making a difference in our community and in our children’s lives.” 


The NAC co-chair, Maria Said, has explained that this incident is unfortunately not isolated, despite national regulation.


Ms Said believes current legislation requiring just one staff member to be food service trained is leaving ECEC services ill-equipped to protect children from harm.


“Giving a child the wrong food can be fatal,” she said.”We would like all staff that work in childcare centres and children’s services to be trained on anaphylaxis.


Ms Said also believes staff are not treating family concerns with appropriate severity, writing them down to being anxious or demanding. 


“Open communication with the parents of a child with a food allergy is critical, so that staff understand what needs to happen to help keep that child safe,” Maria explained.


Despite regulations not meeting expectations of the National Allergy Council, their courses are currently funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, making them available free of charge.


These courses, including All about Allergens for Children’s Education and Care (CEC) can be accessed here. To access the original coverage of this story please see here. 

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