If you’re employed by a school system in any capacity and you don’t frequently hear of food allergies, you’re most likely alone. Completely alone. Because food allergies are everywhere, and certainly more so than in the past. According to the CDC, “the prevalence of food allergies increased from 3.4% in 1997–1999 to 5.1% in 2009–2011,” among children aged 0–17 years. In addition, the CDC notes that the school environment is of particular concern, as “studies show that 16%–18% of children with food allergies have had allergic reactions to accidental ingestion of food allergens while in school.”
So with allergies on the rise, and accidental ingestion a possibility, we have no choice but to be prepared to react. We have to know those students with allergies, and prepare to treat them, while at the same time, remaining alert to signs that other students may develop or react to unknown allergies. Food allergy awareness is part of the preparation, but not only must you know which students have allergies, you must also know the severity of the reaction and how to treat it order to adequately protect them. A child mildly reacting to ingesting an apple is an entirely different scenario than a child being rushed to the ER because they came into contact with peanuts.
And food allergies are just the tip of the iceberg. Bee stings, medications, and a host of others may plague your student populations. The only way to protect your students, your school, and yourself, is to prepare for all of them by gathering the necessary information from your parents and students, and ensuring it’s accessible when needed.
Questions to keep in mind when planning for allergic reactions include:
- Do we know if emergency student health information is accessible?
- Can the hospital view vital information like allergies, medications, and conditions?
- Are parents and emergency contacts abreast of the situation and where the student is being taken for treatment? Or how the reaction is being treated?
Allergic reaction preparation can be aided significantly with a student medical record (SMR). SMR empowers nurses and school staff to provide vital health information to healthcare providers treating ill students. In the event of an allergic reaction, the SMR emergency module, Magnus911, electronically delivers health information to the point of care, ensuring the best possible treatment is available to students when they absolutely need it most.
With the PowerSchool, Magnus Health SMR integration, schools using both PowerSchool and SMR can take advantage of Magnus911 via the web or Magnus Mobile app. The new integration means vital health information is available in the most secure, efficient, and easily accessible manner.
How Magnus911 works: Magnus911 is web-based and accessible from any device with an Internet connection. The system protects information by automatically assigning a unique 16-digit identifier to each student, and in an emergency, first responders and ER staff can securely access vital health and emergency contact information for a period of 24 hours. From within Magnus911, you can also fax the vital health information to a hospital while the student is in transit, and send alerts and updates to emergency contacts.
This is the fourth in a four part series, focusing on the Magnus Health, Pearson integration, and delivering health information in emergencies.