Police at La Salle School.

29-05-2019Alejandro Sepúlveda

In the Balearics there is a system called School Alert. This registers some 2,000 schoolchildren who suffer from some form of chronic health problem, such as asthma, epilepsy and allergies.

Of these children, 558 suffer from allergies, while 268 have asthma. Local health centres and schools themselves have this information and know how to respond if a child experiences an attack.

Set up in 2014, School Alert receives the relevant medical details from parents. These are forwarded to the health centre and the school and also to the 061 health emergency service. The system is directed by paediatrician Mercedes Escarrer, who explains that this has been broadened since 2014 to include information regarding risk of cardiac arrest. There are 65 schools where there is at least one child who has this risk; defibrillators have been installed.

Teachers are given voluntary training, and the scheme extends to pupils. Visits are made during which pupils are made aware that there are limitations as to immediate health cover in schools.

The system is being highlighted given the tragic incident at La Salle School in Palma last Friday, when a five-year-old girl died as a result of allergic reaction at meal time.

The National Police have been looking into the circumstances and are understood to be considering placing a school lunch monitor under formal investigation. Police have been studying medical information and the contents of the menu last Friday. They have established that there was a sticker on the child's chair with advice about her allergy.

The autopsy has confirmed that she suffered a reaction from having eaten an ice-cream sandwich. It has also been established that she had a history of allergic reactions and had been taken to hospital on various occasions because of these. Her health is described as having been "delicate".