What is Food Allergy? 
People with allergies have an over-reactive immune system that targets otherwise harmless elements of our diet and environment. During an allergic reaction to food, the immune system recognizes a specific food protein as a target. This initiates a sequence of events in the cells of the immune system resulting in the release of chemical mediators such as histamine. These chemical mediators trigger inflammatory reactions in the tissues of the skin (itching, hives, rash), the respiratory system (cough, difficulty breathing, wheezing), the gastrointestinal tract (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain), and the cardiovascular system (decreased blood pressure, heartbeat irregularities, shock). When the symptoms are widespread and systemic, the reaction is termed “anaphylaxis,” a potentially life-threatening event.

Whether caused by peanuts, dairy products, bees, or dust, allergies can be life threatening.

  • Please observe school warnings meant to protect students with serious allergies;
  • Report student allergies to the school nurse immediately;
  • Provide EpiPens, if necessary—schools have EpiPens for unexpected emergencies, but the right prescription from a doctor provides greater safety for your child.

PWCS recommend that parents of students diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy meet with the school nurse and school team working with the student to implement an AAP and develop a SAIHCP. PWCS requires that the parent/guardian of a student with a life-threatening food allergy submit an AAP completed and signed by the healthcare provider, parent and the student (if applicable). 


Management of Allergic Reactions in the School Setting/School Age Child Care - Regulation 757-2

Allergy Guidelines Letter (PDF)