Use of Asthma Inhalers In Schools
In order to ensure that a child has his or her asthma medication immediately available in when an asthma attack occurs, Pennsylvania has enacted a law (Act 187) requiring schools to develop a written policy that allows school aged children to carry (possess) and use (self-administer) their asthma medication.
Schools should be able to provide a copy of their policy.
Each school's policy should require that a child:
- Be able to demonstrate the ability to use the inhaler.
Behave responsibly when using the inhaler.
Notify the school nurse immediately following each use of an asthma inhaler.
A school has the right to deny the privilege to carry an inhaler, or to restrict its use, if school policies are abused or ignored.
A school's policy may require:
- A written statement from the child's health care provider that provides:
- the name of the medication
- the dose
- the times when medication is to be taken
- the diagnosis or reason medicine is needed (unless this is confidential)
- information on serious reactions that could occur and appropriate emergency responses
- that the child is qualified and able to self-administer the medication
- A written statement from the parent or guardian that:
- the school follow the health care providers orders
- the school entity and/or school employee be relieved of any responsibility for the benefits or consequences of the prescribed medication
- the school bears no responsibility for ensuring that the medication is taken
- The right of the school to require a statement from the health care provider for continued use of any medication beyond a specified time period.