Our Community - Allergies and School

O’Connor Primary School endeavours to provide a safe environment where all students’ needs are catered for equally without further discrimination and fear. The number of children with food allergies in Australia is increasing and it is estimated that 1 in 20 have a food allergy and 1 in 50 have a peanut allergy.
The most common food allergies are peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews etc) cow’s milk, soy, seafood and eggs. Many children will “outgrow” their food allergies however reactions to nuts, seeds and seafood tend to be life long. The health and wellbeing of students at this school is carefully considered in all activities.
Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you require assistance. 



Allergies occur when the immune system produces antibodies against substances in the environment (allergens) that are usually harmless. Once an allergy has developed, exposure to the particular allergen can result in symptoms that vary from mild to life threatening (anaphylaxis).



Anaphylaxis is a severe, rapidly progressive allergic reaction that is potentially life threatening. Although there has been an increase in the number of children diagnosed as at risk of anaphylaxis, deaths are still rare. However, deaths have occurred and anaphylaxis must therefore be regarded as a medical emergency.

Did you know?

  • Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires a rapid response.
  • Certain foods and insect stings are the most common causes of anaphylaxis.
  • A child can have an allergic reaction from simply shaking hands or sharing toys with students who have eaten foods earlier in the day.
  • The key to prevention of anaphylaxis is identifying triggers and preventing exposure to these triggers. Schools and child care services need to develop prevention strategies in consultation with the child and the child’s parents.
  • Adrenaline given through an adrenaline Epi-pen is the first line treatment for anaphylaxis. The Epi-pen is designed so anyone can use it in an emergency.
  • Staff at O’Connor Primary have been trained in how to recognise and respond to an anaphylactic reaction, including administering an Epi-pen.


Tips for Students   


Do not swap food

Wash hands after eating

 Tell the teacher if you are worried about particular food

 Know which friends have an allergy.

Return to top


Tips for Parents

Discourage children from swapping food.
Check all food labels. 
Inform the school of all allergies. 
Work with the school to make a Health Care Plan.
Supply an Epi-pen to the school.
Check Epi-pen expiry date regularly.
Teach your child about their allergy.
For more ideas, support and advice visit 
The School Nurse for O'Connor Primary can be contacted on 90808200 at the Ware Street Clinic.

Birthday Celebrations

At school we love to celebrate birthdays!
They are a special time and children are encourgaed to share this event with their teachers and classmates.
In the classrooms teachers will help children celebrate their special day by singing the song as usual. Any cake or food that is sent in will be put aside and given out at the end of the day. This way parents of younger children, particularly Kindergarten to Year 2 can decided if their child has the cake/food or not. Older primary children are encouraged to self-manage their food and understand which foods they can and can not eat.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Administration team if you would like to discuss this.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all allergies life threatening?
Some reactions are mild to moderate which are generally not life threatening. Anaphylactic  reactions are life threatening.
Are people allergic to all nuts?
Peanuts grow in the ground like potatoes and tree nuts (almonds, cashews etc) grow on trees. People are not always allergic to both.
How do I know if a child is having an anaphylactic reaction?
Symptoms can include - difficulty breathing, swollen tongue or throat, difficulty talking or a hoarse voice, wheezing and coughing, loss of consciousness, paleness and floppiness in young children.
Are children allowed to bring food items that contain traces of nuts/peanuts to school?
The school recommends parents try to avoid these items.
Can my child have peanut butter or Nutella sandwiches?
Nutella is made from tree nuts while peanut  butter is made from peanuts, however the school recommends parents try to avoid these items.
What if my child is recently diagnosed with an allergy?
Inform the school as soon as possible. A Health Care Plan will be formulated.
How will I know if there is a child with an allergy in my child’s classroom?
The school will inform parents in particular classes if there are life threatening allergies.
Who do I see at the school about allergies?
The first contact should be with the teacher who will asist you or direct you in the right place. Please contact the Mrs Hunter - the Deputy Principal if reuired