States Now Allow Students to Carry Asthma and Allergy MedicationsMost states are now allowing students with
asthma and anaphylaxis (extreme life-threatening allergic reactions)
to carry and self-administer lifesaving medications at school. This
reflects new changes in state laws where previously school nurses
had to store and administer the asthma and allergy medications. With
the new ability to carry and self-administer treatments, students,
parents, healthcare providers and school staff members all need to
be educated on the new laws and how students can properly self-manage
their diseases. Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics
(AANMA) has launched a national campaign to help educate these groups
on the new laws and proper treatment.
many students with asthma or anaphylaxis, the decision to run
laps in gym class, join the marching band or eat lunch with classmates
requires making life and death risk assessments on their own
every day,” says Nancy Sander, AANMA president and founder. “As
parents, teachers or medical professionals, it’s our job
to help them do this with confidence and knowledge.”
by students has the potential to help save lives, there is no
specific age or grade level at which all students have the skills
necessary to carry and use medications responsibly. Because of
this, knowledge and cooperation among students, parents, teachers
and other school personnel is vital to insure proper self-treatment.
is key,” says Kevin Murphy, MD, an AANMA board member who
led efforts to ensure emergency and asthma and anaphylaxis medications
were in every school building in Nebraska. “Now that most
states allow students to carry and use asthma and anaphylaxis
medications at school, medical care providers need to talk to
students to make sure they are ready to make self-care decisions
is the number one reason for missed school days due to chronic
illness, proper treatment is vital to improving attendance numbers.
AANMA encourages students, parents and educators to work with
school health officials to ensure students are ready for self-care
and schools are prepared to handle asthma and allergy emergencies.
Preparation includes keeping a backup supply of medications in
the school nurse’s office as well as keeping trained medical
professionals at school to respond to emergencies. Even thought
school nurses are essential members of a student’s medical
care team, unfortunately almost half the schools in America fall
short of the federally recommended nurse-to-student ratio.
AANMA is committed
to ensuring all states have laws allowing students to carry and
self-administer asthma inhalers and auto-injectable epinephrine.
This will help enable students to follow their doctor’s
prescribed treatment plan, treat their conditions at the first
sign of symptoms, and gain confidence and control over their
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