Dealing with Life Threatening Allergies at School

Many by-standers and even physicians do not appreciate the gravity of the allergic crisis. Immediate treatment with injected adrenalin, antihistamine, steroids and life support may be necessary to rescue the anaphylaxis victim. The second, late phase of anaphylaxis can develop into a prolonged illness if left untreated. The initial immune response recruits other immune responses. Anaphylaxis is unpredictable and is not caused by a single mechanism. Lethal events include:

  • tongue and throat swelling, obstructing the upper airway
  • severe asthma and / or lung swelling with failure of respiration
  • shock caused by sudden movement of water from blood into tissue spaces (edema)
  • heart rhythm abnormalities and cardiac arrest

If your student has been diagnosed with a life threatening allergic reaction to a substance, you will want to immediately contact the nurse so that personnel can be informed and training can be conducted if necessary. Your child will undoubtedly have an epi-pen, possibly other emergency medications, and you will want to have one available at school so that your student can be treated immediately if an exposure should take place. If your student will be self-carrying his / her medication, we request you also have medication available in the school office in the event your student does not have the epi-pen. For students who self-carry emergency medications, the documents that should be in place are available at this link.

If your child participates in any after-school activities, clubs, sports, etc. before or after the hours that the school office is open, the Health Room (where the medications are stored) may not be accessible. You should consider providing any necessary medication to the school personnel in charge of the activity. In addition, please notify your School Nurse so that she can make sure that the proper medication training has been done with that person.

Furthermore, in order to address severe allergic reactions and in accordance with State recommendations, stock epinephrine will be stored in schools in order to address and treat first time severe allergic reactions. Please see DCSD board policy JLCDA-R for more information.

If you have questions about accommodations for your student at a specific school, contact your School Nurse. She will be able to answer most questions and also facilitate the writing of care plans and training personnel as needed.

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 720-433-1083.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.