• Janet Mary Houston
    I'm trying to find out if it is standard practice that schools have epi-pens available for students with nut/ bee sting allergies etc. I can't find anything on Ministry of Education website but a friend who is a principal said they did, because it was best practice. Does anyone have any knowledge of what is expected of schools in this regard. Is there anything official you are aware of? Appreciate your thoughts - thanks in advance.
  • rebecca telfer
    Hi Janet
    My niece (she is 11 now) is extremely allergic to nuts, dairy, bees and wheat products, carries a Epi-pen with her at all times (we also have one on us at all times too). When she started pre-school they advised that there were no regulations around needing to have such thing on site and it was really put in the too hard basket with having a child with nut allergies.
    When she started school, our family were very proactive to get some sort of programme going at the school (which goes up to year 13) to make sure my niece and others would be safe, so we engaged help from our local St.Johns and myself being HSE Advisor at the PTA and Board Meetings we educated the teachers about such conditions and how to use Epi-pens. When she started school there were still no regulations. But now any student that has extreme allergies or conditions, their photos are on a board in the sick bay with instructions on what to do in the event of an incident.
    We have the same issue with my son who has Down Syndrome (he is now year 10) and there is nothing with the MOE that cover special needs - only polices and procedures that the school has put in place themselves.
  • Janet Mary Houston
    thanks so much Rebecca and Matthew
  • Aaron Marshall
    Our school doesn't hold them in general, but those students who need them have them either on their person, or held at the office for them. Similar to Rebecca, we have an info sheet for each student, with photo and treatment information
    I'd be cautious about the school holding them available for use, as to my knowledge they are prescription, and teachers aren't qualified to make decisions regarding administration.
  • Alex P
    Hi Janet,

    I teach pre-hospital emergency care and first aid to adults and, on some occasions, high school students and teachers. My experience with this is that each school seems to have a different policy around how they manage this. Outdoor Education Centers and adventure guiding operations are also quite similar in this regard, and they too manage this quite differently.

    It is not uncommon for schools or other organisations to have a couple of spare epi-pens in the office as you can buy them online for about $120 without a prescription, though they do expire after about 18 months. The NZ Resus Council does encourage the administration of Adrenalin (through an epi-pen) as it is safe and effective - Resus council guideline here.

    As far as I am aware, provided the school is made aware of a student or teacher allergy, there should be reasonable steps taken to manage this, in which there are many ways. You can purchase training epi-pens online from here. These are a great tool for training others in the administration.

    Hope that helps!
  • Andrew
    Tampons are to be provided. Epi pens seem a logical extension. Along with all other personal health care needs.
  • Kim Martin
    Hello Janet - Allergy New Zealnd have great resources and can help with this - see here:

    They work with schools and may be able to help with setting up an action plan.
  • Don Ramsay
    We had this discussion a few years ago at a previous company and they were of the opinion that an EpiPen is a personal item hence the company would not supply, another factor was the cost of replacing the pens every 12 months when they expire at 62 branches. we ensured that anyone that needed to have one had it on-site and the production manager and safety rep were made aware where it was stored.
  • Don Ramsay
    Just to add to the conversation the previous company that I worked for also said you could not administer any medical processes beyond first aid, which included the ability to give out panadol, or any medications that could be purchased over the counter, they also concluded that the use of an EpiPen was beyond your allowable duties.
  • Michael Wilson
    I have a spare epi pen that my friend gave me before he died. I could not understand what he was saying at the time, but for some reason he really wanted me to have it.
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