Students with medical needs

Learn how K to 12 schools support students with medical needs like Type 1 diabetes or allergies.


Schools may need to understand a student’s medical condition in order to:

  • help teachers plan effective instruction and classroom support
  • prepare for possible impacts on student learning, social or emotional behaviour and on the classroom environment

Parents and guardians are primarily responsible for the medical needs of their children. It is important they work with schools, community partners and healthcare providers to ensure their child’s medical needs are met.

Type 1 diabetes

Alberta’s Guidelines for Supporting Students with Type 1 Diabetes in Schools gives information on how the following groups can work together to support students with Type 1 diabetes in school and during school activities:

  • schools
  • school authorities
  • parents and guardians
  • healthcare professionals

It includes resources and identifies roles and responsibilities for:

  • students
  • schools
  • school authorities
  • parents and guardians

The guidelines are designed to work with existing policies, programs and resources provided by Alberta Education, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

Allergies and anaphylaxis

The Protection of Students with Life-Threatening Allergies Act comes into force on January 1, 2020 and contains requirements for how schools can support students with life-threatening allergies at school. These requirements include establishing policies and risk reduction plans.

The act applies to:

  • public and separate school divisions
  • francophone regional authorities
  • private schools
  • charter schools

Roles for supporting students

Schools, school authorities and community partners can work with parents and healthcare providers when medical needs require attention in school.

Parents and guardians

Parents and guardians should make sure schools know about their child’s life-threatening allergies and supply any medications their child may need.

We encourage parents and guardians to work with their local school authority to find solutions and build on best practices (for example, creating individualized care plans for students).

Schools and school authorities

Schools should maintain a minimum of one epinephrine auto-injector for emergency use.

Schools should work with local pharmacies to determine the appropriate type and number of epinephrine auto-injector(s) needed by a school. Schools should not carry more epinephrine auto-injectors than necessary because these medications have limited expiry dates and may be in short supply.

School authorities should work with local community health partners to find appropriate training that supports students with life-threatening allergies at school.

Policies and procedures

The Protection of Students with Life-Threatening Allergies Act requires school authorities to establish and maintain an anaphylaxis policy and a risk reduction plan.

Policies and plans should include:

  • procedures and/or instructions for appropriate storage and easy accessibility of epinephrine auto-injectors for students who have an identified anaphylactic allergy and for the school’s emergency epinephrine auto-injector
  • procedures for monitoring the expiry and replacement of the school’s emergency epinephrine auto injector(s)
  • procedures for maintaining information in a file for every student who has an anaphylactic allergy

The information in these student files will help inform parents and guardians and may include details regarding:

  • when an epinephrine auto-injector is administered to a student in response to an anaphylactic reaction
  • the type and dosage of epinephrine auto-injector administered
  • the incident that initiated the anaphylactic reaction


Alberta government resources

Other resources

The following allergy and anaphylaxis resources are for information purposes only and their inclusion is not an endorsement or approval by the Alberta government. Users are responsible for evaluating and selecting the resources that best meet the needs of staff and students in their jurisdiction.