If your child has an indoor, seasonal and/or food or nut allergy, you must take extra precautions every day. It’s especially important to find a school that understands allergies, provides a safe environment and offers medical care. Read on to learn how international schools in Singapore handle allergies. This information can help you choose the most appropriate school in Singapore for your child.
1. Review the School’s Allergy Policies
Rather than one universal allergy policy, most schools implement their own unique allergy policy that you must carefully review.
- Ensure that the school will take your child’s allergy seriously.
- Review the school’s safety measures that prevent allergen exposures.
- Check the regulations about the storage and administration of allergy medications.
- Verify that staff members are trained to recognise allergic reactions, manage your child’s allergy and administer medications.
- Obtain the required allergen documents for a registered Singapore doctor to complete.
2. Look for a nut-free school
It is very difficult to find a school that is completely allergen-free. However, a nut-free school can be an indication that allergies, not just nut-allergies, are taken seriously at the school. Food and beverage options at the school should be nut-free, prepared in a nut-free environment and not exposed to cross-contamination.
OWIS is a nut-free school. Our caterers operate a nut-free canteen for students and staff, too.
3. Renew Your Child’s Prescriptions and Allergy Medicines
Allergy medications can relieve allergic reactions and may even save your child’s life. When you move to Singapore, check the current allergy medicine regulations.
You will definitely need to visit a registered Singapore doctor and obtain a new or renewed prescription for necessary allergy medicine such as an EpiPen or anti-histamines. This authorisation ensures that your child can receive their allergy medicines and is required before the school nurse can administer the medicine your child needs.
Discuss the school’s allergy medication protocols, too. You will need to complete the school’s medication documents. These forms verify the type of allergy your child has and the medicine he or she needs to have access to or take at school.
Potential reduction in allergens
Certain areas of the world are naturally lower in outdoor allergens, such as pollen. Relocating to a place like Singapore may reduce your child’s allergies.
Keep in mind, however, that every person reacts differently. While some families in Singapore report an increase in allergic reactions to pollen and other outdoor allergens, our Admissions team member Sherry A. no longer suffers from grass fever symptoms, like itchy and watery eyes, now that she has relocated from Britain to Singapore.
OWIS Implements a Strict Allergy Policy
At OWIS, we take all allergies seriously and do our best to protect each child.
At registration, parents complete a medical form that includes their child’s allergen information. You will need to list the type and severity of the allergy, symptoms of an allergic reaction and necessary allergy prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.
Any prescription and over-the-counter medication, including an EpiPen, inhaler or antihistamines, are handed to the school nurse, and you will also need to provide instructions for when the medicine is to be administered.
A prescription letter must be provided if your child requires an EpiPen, inhaler or other prescription allergy medication. This letter has to be provided by a Singapore registered medical doctor.
We take every precaution to prevent allergic reactions and we have a trained registered nurse on the school premises from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The nurse maintains a list of students with serious allergies and an action plan for the management of each child’s allergic reactions.
If your child does have an allergic reaction, the nurse will immediately check your child’s symptoms, review his/her medical records and administer the necessary medicine. If your child’s symptoms subside after he or she takes the medications, you will be contacted.
Depending on the severity of symptoms and your child’s allergy history, the nurse may call an ambulance immediately after administering the medication. A staff member from the school will accompany your child to the nearest hospital, and the school will contact you.
To learn more about OWIS and how we manage your child’s allergies in school, contact us today.
This blog was originally written in collaboration with Jasween Gill, former Admissions and Communications Director, OWIS Nanyang and Suntec.