When children with asthma attend school, their safety and management of asthma becomes a shared responsibility of the family, their asthma care provider, and the school personnel. Although all 50 states and the District of Columbia have passed a law allowing students to carry and use inhalers at school, some kids are still being denied access to these lifesaving medications during the school day.
Seventeen states have laws or state administrative guidelines allowing schools to stock quick-relief medications for students with asthma. Once the law or guidelines are in place, it is important to create policies to bring the law to life at the local or individual school level. Even without a state law, school districts can put a protective policy in place providing immediate access to asthma medication in schools. We encourage all school districts to implement a model policy to provide students with asthma access to quick-relief medicines during the school day. Having such a model policy can save the lives of children with asthma.
Use the resources and tools below to help schools overcome the barriers and make asthma medications available to students throughout the school day.
This issue brief examines the policies and practices in schools and makes recommendations on ways that schools, families and communities can better ensure that all students with asthma have quick, reliable access to the medications they need to stay healthy, in school and ready to learn.
This animation provides school personnel with steps and resources to improve access to asthma medications in schools.
To ensure access to life-saving medication during the school day, schools can adopt a Stock Bronchodilator Policy to ensure access and availability to back-up asthma medication using standing orders for quick-relief medication. Use this tool to learn how to implement a model policy on stock bronchodilators, create a protocols and procedures document, and access language to create a Stock Bronchodilator Policy for your school or school district.
The purpose of this tool is to create a standardized process for designated school personnel and parents to use in order to determine a child's readiness to self-carry a quick-relief inhaler. Use this tool to help you identify a student's capabilities and areas that need improvement. Make a plan to work with the student throughout the school year to build the knowledge and skills to self-carry and use a quick-relief inhaler during the school day. Available in English and Spanish.
A free interactive online learning module designed to assist designated school health staff assess a child's readiness to carry and use a quick-relief inhaler. This course will teach participants to: describe the barriers to access to asthma medication in schools; overcome barriers with a variety of resources; assess a child's readiness to self-carry asthma medications in schools; and, implement support activities for all students with asthma regardless of their level of independence.
Page last updated: November 17, 2022