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Some Schools Don't Let Kids Carry Asthma Inhalers
Date:4/27/2012

the law on their side. Federal and state legislation allows children to carry their own inhalers. Not surprisingly though, there is paperwork that's required for youngsters to be able to do so.

Talk with your child's school nurse and get the required paperwork from him or her, ideally before school starts, advised Nancy Sander, president of the Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA).

"Meet with the child's doctor before school, or as soon as you get an asthma diagnosis if it's in the middle of a school year. Parents often aren't aware that they need to fill out the paperwork," said Sander.

George said that kids who can demonstrate that they know how to use an inhaler can usually be allowed to carry their own medication, regardless of their age. Children must also be responsible enough to tell an adult when they've used their medication. They must also understand that they can't share their medication with other children.

Sander said the AANMA is getting fewer and fewer calls every year about kids being denied the right to carry their own medication, but said it does still happen sometimes.

If your child is having an issue with carrying an asthma inhaler or an epinephrine pen, George said the first person you should contact is the school nurse. She said that a school nurse will often be willing to advocate for a child, and that's generally very helpful when you make your case to the school principal.

George said it's important to remember that "school principals make these rules with what they believe is the best interest of the children. They're not doing it to be punitive. So, you need to explain why this rule is not beneficial for your child. When presented with facts, they can make a case-by-case decision about your child being an exception. You can help break down the barrier," she said.

If children aren't mature enough to carry their own inhaler, Sander said it's important that the child's inhaler
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