Objectives: To determine the prevalence of parent reported allergy and anaphylaxis in a sample of children and to investigate the first aid management of anaphylaxis in the schools and preschools that these children attend.
Methods: The study sample comprised 4173 South Australian children aged 3-17 years. Information was collected regarding parent-reported allergy and anaphylaxis. All children with known anaphylaxis were contacted and an attempt was made to contact those with reports of allergy to ascertain if these children had anaphylaxis. A telephone questionnaire was used to verify reports of anaphylaxis and determine the cause, severity and school first aid management of anaphylaxis.
Results: The rate of parent reported allergy and anaphylaxis was 7.3 and 0.59 per 100 children, respectively. Two-thirds of children with anaphylaxis did not have emergency medication available at school, an emergency action plan, or a teacher on site able to administer adrenaline for first aid use.
Conclusions: Children attending preschool or school may have had a past history of anaphylaxis. Arrangements for first aid management of these children while in this environment are often inadequate.