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Monday, 21 May 2012
Page: 4967

Food Allergies

Debate resumed on motion by Ms Burke:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) food allergy affects approximately 1 in 10 children and 2 in 100 adults, and anaphylaxis is the most severe form of an allergic reaction, most commonly food associated anaphylaxis; and

(b) the number of hospital admissions for anaphylaxis has doubled in the last 15 years and there have been increased incidences of anaphylaxis predominantly in infants less than 5 years of age, with studies indicating that increases have been up to five-fold;

(2) recognises that current State and Territory policies related to food allergy management in schools are not properly legislated, except in Victoria;

(3) acknowledges that an anaphylactic reaction should be treated as a medical emergency and a simple medical procedure is all that is needed to treat it, prevent loss of life and provide the necessary time to transport the victim to hospital for further medical attention;

(4) calls on the Government to introduce legislation, devised through COAG, to ensure all preschools, primary and secondary schools:

(a) utilise programs that aim to help educate school children on the cause, effects and treatments of anaphylaxis;

(b) have necessary policies and procedures to provide effective response to a student who experiences an anaphylactic reaction, such as the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy action plan;

(c) ensure staff members are appropriately trained to support life in the event of an anaphylactic reaction; and

(d) have an anaphylaxis management program for each student developed in consultation with the student's parent/carer and physician;

(5) recognises the great work of Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Asthma Victoria in the 'Schoolnuts' study which aims to determine the prevalence of true food allergies in children and provide educational seminars to schools following research; and

(6) recognises there is further need for coordinated studies of food allergy in Australia to ascertain risk factors and help guide public policy.