Marches Family Network recognises that although it cannot be guaranteed, they aim that all their sessions are Nut-Free. This policy serves to set out all measures to reduce the risk to those young people and workers who may suffer an anaphylactic reaction if exposed to nuts.
This policy is applicable to all members of staff, workers, volunteers, parents, carers, young people and visitors to any Marches Family network session.
Marches Family Network Nut-Free Policy means that the following items should not be brought to any session:
- Packs of nuts
- Peanut butter sandwiches
- Fruit and cereal bars that contain nuts
- Chocolate bars or sweets that contain nuts
- Sesame seed rolls (children allergic to nuts may also have a severe reaction to sesame)
- Cakes made with nuts
Marches Family Network’s policy includes not using nuts in any of our activities held during a session. However, they cannot guarantee freedom from nut traces.
Marches Family Network cannot give out any sweets/cakes brought in from home.
Definition of Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis (also known as anaphylactic shock) is an allergic condition that can be severe and potentially fatal. Anaphylaxis is your body’s immune system reacting badly to a substance (an allergen), such as food, which it wrongly perceives as a threat. The whole body can be affected, usually within minutes of contact with an allergen, although sometimes the reaction can happen hours later.
The symptoms of anaphylaxis usually start between three and sixty minutes after contact with the allergen. Less commonly they can occur a few hours or even days after contact. An anaphylactic reaction may lead to feeling unwell or dizzy or may cause fainting due to a sudden drop in blood pressure. Narrowing of the airways can also occur at the same time, with or without the drop in blood pressure. This can cause breathing difficulties and wheezing. Other symptoms include:
- Swollen eyes, lips, genitals, hands, feet and other areas (this is called angioedema)
- Sore, red, itchy eyes
- Changes in heart rate
- A sudden feeling of extreme anxiety or apprehension
- Itchy skin or nettle-rash (hives)
- Unconsciousness due to very low blood pressure
- Abdominal cramps, vomiting or diarrhoea, or nausea and fever.
Anaphylaxis varies in severity. Sometimes it causes only mild itchiness and swelling, but in some people it can cause sudden death. If symptoms start soon after contact with the allergen and rapidly worsens, this indicates that the reaction is more severe.
Staff, workers and volunteers must ensure they do not bring in or consume nut products during a session and ensure they follow good hand washing practice.
All product packaging must be checked for warnings directed at nut allergy sufferers and if the following or similar are displayed, the product must not be used at a session. Packaging must be checked for:
- Not suitable for nut allergy suffers
- This product contains nuts
- This product may contain traces of nuts
Parents and Carers
Parents and carers must notify staff of any known or suspected allergy to nuts and provide all medical and necessary information and equipment (epipens). This will be included in the young person’s file.
Marches Family Network requests that parents and carers observe the nut-free policy and therefore do not include nuts, or any traces of nuts, in packed lunches.
All young people are regularly reminded about the good hygiene practice of washing hands before and after eating which helps to reduce the risk of secondary contamination. Likewise, young people are reminded and carefully supervised to minimise the act of food sharing with their friends.
Support Plans and Emergency Response.
Marches Family Network have individual support plans for young people with allergies indicating triggers and medication required.
Epi Pen trained staff are named First Aiders.