Ways to Reduce the Risk of Anaphylaxis

1. Safety is Awareness - Understanding the Problem

Awareness of the Causes

Medeba recognizes that more and more people are developing allergies that cause anaphylactic reactions and some of these cases can be extremely severe. Anaphylaxis is a sudden life-threatening allergic reaction that occurs when a person is exposed to an allergy-causing substance (allergen). We seek to reduce the risk of anaphylactic reactions at Medeba by becoming an "allergen aware" environment.

Medeba staff members are trained in the understanding of high risk allergens. Specific emphasis is placed upon understanding allergies that we are aware of people having who are coming to Medeba.

Awareness of the Emergency Plan

Medeba will make efforts to work with parents and campers to help manage their allergies while at camp. We will seek to have parents, staff and campers communicate, in writing, any known allergies that they have and together formulate the best strategy to deal with the problem. Other staff members are informed of people with high risk allergies and what the established plan is for the individuals. If anyone at Medeba has food allergies, a food allergy list is to be posted in the kitchen.

2. Safety is Avoidance - Reducing Exposure

Responsibility of Staff

Staff are trained in identifying the high-risk allergens, reducing the risk of cross contamination, and responding to potential emergencies.

Additional epinephrine is also kept in the first aid centre or another designated area and is brought on all off-site trips.

We will do our best to provide information on all food ingredients served at Medeba to those who request it.

Cooks clean the cooking utensils and surfaces before preparing food for the allergic guests and attempt to minimize the threat of cross contamination.

Food service personnel will attempt to check ingredients carefully and inform the person with the allergy of foods that may affect them.

People with severe allergies should be served first in buffet lines to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

People with severe allergies will have their dishes washed separately or be served on disposable dishes.

Staff need to encourage campers to wash their hands and faces after meals.

People with severe food allergies will not be asked to do kitchen chores if the food they are allergic to has recently been served.

Cabin leaders with campers in their cabin with severe allergies will discuss anaphylaxis with the entire cabin and strategies to deal with it.

Responsibility of Person with Allergy

It is important that people recognize that they are responsible for themselves and personally must do all they can to avoid allergens that could cause anaphylaxis.

Carry an unexpired epinephrine auto injector (e.g. Epipen or Ana-Kit) at all times. They should also bring at least two auto injectors to camp.

Wear their medic alert bracelet or tag stating the use of epinephrine, if appropriate.

Avoid all contact with allergen(s).

Wash hands before eating anything.

Do not share food, utensils or straws with anyone.

Promptly inform a staff member of accidental exposure to a known allergen.

Nut-Aware Environment

Peanut and nut products account for the majority of severe anaphylactic reactions. Peanut oil residue is easily spread from hand to hand, and around kitchen surfaces as well as other surfaces.

Because of this, Medeba attempts to reduce the risk of potential exposure to nut products at camp with our "nut-aware" policy. Peanut and nut products will not be used at Medeba, including food services, out-tripping and the tuck shop.

It is important that all parties (camp staff, parents and campers) clearly understand that in no way can we guarantee that we will be a completely "nut-free" environment.

Staff and campers are asked to abstain from bringing any nuts, or products containing nuts, into camp. Day camp lunches and camp care packages will be monitored.

3. Safety is Action - Responding to Emergencies

Epinephrine Auto Injectors

People with severe allergies are required to carry an unexpired epinephrine auto injector (e.g. Epipen or Ana-Kit) at all times. They should also bring at least two auto injectors to camp. Staff are trained in the use of auto injectors and the emergency treatment plan.

Key Points for Treatment Reminder Card

A Card outlining the treatment steps will be included

  • with each preloaded epinephrine syringe and
  • in each off-site first aid kit
  • in each epinephrine auto-injector fanny pack carried by an individual with a known anaphylactic allergy.
Treatment Steps on the Reminder Card

If there is a suspected exposure to an allergen AND the individual exhibits - wheezing, is in distress/anxious, difficulty breathing, blue around lips and/or finger nails, give the first dose immediately. If the individual carries an Epinephrine auto-injector, have them use their pen(s) first, then if required use the preloaded epinephrine syringes.

  • Inject in outer, meaty part of thigh (Epinephrine auto-injector may be injected through thin layer of clothing, syringe may not)
  • Inject slowly (Epinephrine auto-injector - count to 10 slowly) and then remove
  • Massage the area afterwards, discard of sharps safely
  • Take note the time of injection
  • If symptoms continue, repeat dose in 5 - 10 minutes

If the individual is not having severe difficulty breathing:

  • Give correct dosage of an ANTI-HISTAMINE. (1 tablet for child, 2 tablets for adult). Encourage the individual to chew and swallow or hold under tongue to dissolve. Begin Process of Evacuation Immediately.

Inform the camp nurse or staff member immediately to arrange transportation to the Haliburton Hospital. Remain at the hospital for at least four hours because a reaction can still occur.

On Medeba Off-Site Out-Trips

If there is a known highly allergic person on an out-trip, food should never be prepared directly on unknown surfaces. Unknown surfaces need to be covered with a cutting board or wax paper. If a site includes surfaces that can be thoroughly cleaned (e.g. stainless steel, plastic, non-porous/smooth), these can be cleaned with soap and water. These surfaces can then be used directly for food preparation.