Management of Food and Allergies at School.

Health & Wellbeing Team update

Food allergies are currently on the increase. Research shows that 1 in 10 children less than 5 years old have food allergies. Up to 2% of the population will have food allergies for life.

Rowville Primary School has several students each year that have been diagnosed with a potentially life threatening food allergy.

An allergic reaction triggered by a small amount of food eaten or touched can be rapid in onset and progress quickly to a life threatening emergency.

According to the Education Department’s duty of care obligations to students, schools are required to ensure all students feel safe and supported at school. This includes supporting and responding to students with mild to moderate allergies. An allergic reaction can be traumatic for the student and others witnessing the reaction.

It is important to be aware that some students with an allergy may not wish to be singled out or seen to be treated differently.


Common allergens include:

  • peanuts
  • tree nuts such as cashews
  • eggs
  • cow's milk
  • wheat
  • soy
  • fish and shellfish
  • sesame
  • kiwi fruit
  • berries
  • seeds

Therefore, considerations in how our school implements risk minimisation for our at risk children are as follows:

  • Food may not be shared between students and washing hands before and after eating is encouraged.
  • We discourage food with high risk of allergic reactions or known allergic reactions to individual students, being brought to school.
  • Teachers plan for children with food allergies when planning any fundraisers, cultural days or community events by sending notices to parents requesting food allergy information for each event and discouraging specific food products.
  • Food rewards are discouraged and non-food rewards encouraged.
  • Children at risk of food anaphylaxis should eat food that is supplied by their parents or food that is agreed to by parents prior to a given event. If required, a clearly labelled ‘treat box’ could be supplied by parents and located in child’s classroom.

These are just some of the ways that Rowville Primary School is working to ensure that duty of care obligations to our students are in place, to ensure all students feel safe and supported at school.

Parents are asked to please consider these obligations when sending food along to school with your child.