Asthmatics

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jarenko, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Jarenko

    Jarenko Companion

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    Jul 15, 2007

    I read a compellling news article recently about inhalers in the classroom. Many school have a no drug policy - that is, students cannot carry any form of medication. Supposedly, according to the article, inhalers for those suffering from asthma are exempt from this law. (I am referring specifically to CA here) However, many teachers and principals insist they not be in the childs possession, and kept with the teacher or school nurse.

    Personally, I would find such a set up outrageous. Primarily because of the deadly nature of asthma in a child, the lack of know how a non asthmatic may have with the use of inhalers, and I'm generally against education officials attempting to override parental oversight of medication. If other children are at risk from medicine, obviously oversight is needed, but inhalers pose no risk to anyone.

    Has anyone had an experience with this situation, or read anything about it?

    Thank you,

    Jarenko :eek: :thanks:
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 15, 2007

    I've never heard of a school or district prohibiting children from hanging onto their own inhalers. It sounds absurd! I can just imagine this as a giant lawsuit waiting to happen when some poor kid can't get to the nurse's office in time.

    The only time I can see it being a problem is if the kid is sharing his inhaler with other kids. In that case, perhaps the inhaler should be removed from the child's possession and given to a responsible adult nearby. There could be problems with that too, though, I guess.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jul 15, 2007

    We have children who carry inhalers and some who don't. The ones with mild asthma keep theirs in the first aid room. The ones with more severe reactions keep theirs with them.

    The same goes for Epi-Pens and insulin.
     
  5. Lilu0819

    Lilu0819 Companion

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    Jul 15, 2007

    That's also how it works at my school.
     
  6. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jul 15, 2007

    I have worked in k-3 schools only where children needed inhalers. The nurse always had them.
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I wasn't allowed to have my epi pen unlocked at school as an adult. The nurse had to have it. I never bothered to bring it with me.
     
  8. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    My daughter is allowed to have her inhaler in her own possession if she has the proper form filed with the nurse every year. Her epi pen had to remain in the nurse's office.
     
  9. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Wow I haven't heard about that. I'll have to look it up. But I think it's outrageous to not let a kid carry around his inhaler. I don't feel comfortable holding a kids medication...what if I get in the middle of instruction and forget?

    yuck!
     
  10. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2007

    My daughter also is allowed to have the inhaler in her room. However, it stayed in the teacher's possession (desk drawer) throughout the year - first grade. The year before that, all inhalers were kept with the nurse. I do know that, on the standardized form that the doctor fills out for the school, he/she has to check whether the child is able (old enough) to self-administer the medication/inhaler. Maybe this makes a difference in where they are kept, too.

    I agree that the inhalers need to be right there with the students. As a mom, the thought of my child having to wait while the nurse finds the inhaler, gets it to her, etc., makes me a nervous wreck!!
     
  11. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2007

    In my school, the students cannot carry inhalers or epi-pens with them. They stay with the nurse and when we go on trips, they stay with me. I have never had someone with a sever enough problem that they could not walk to the nurse, but if that were to happen, I can contact her immediately and she will be there in under a minute. It's not ideal of course, but it is how the system works in our district.
     
  12. evil_twin2327

    evil_twin2327 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2007

    I teach middle school. Our students can have a paper from their doctor stating that they are capable of self-medicating and carrying their epi-pens and inhalers. I will say, though, that last year we had an issue with one asthmatic who was a self-medicator. She used the inhaler as a crutch and it became glaringly obvious to the nurse that she was using her inhaler whenever she was uncomfortable in class (ranging from test anxiety to not having her homework to friend issues). Sadly, the parents were unresponsive every time this was brought up. The nurse had to bring in research that showed inhalers can become an addiction!
     
  13. Miss_snugs

    Miss_snugs Rookie

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    Students in my school are not allowed to have medication of any type with them. Even if they are eating a cough drop, I have to know they are having it before they put it in their mouth. If someone has asthma and we go on a field trip, the parent has to attend or give written permission that another responsible adult (can't be me) can administer the inhaler/epi-pen. I think this is for the teacher's protection (against lawsuits and things). I think that many schools don't want kids to have the stuff with them because of things like evil_twin mentioned. The nurse's office is close to all classrooms and she can get to any classroom within seconds. I have heard of students (when I was in school) letting other students use their inhalers.
     
  14. Jarenko

    Jarenko Companion

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Loaning of inhalers is an issue but not a big one. There are very few harmful effects from the medicine in inhalers. I think the good in letting a child carry their own inhaler far outweight the evils. I do think there is a somewhat worrying aspect (none present here of course) of teachers and especially principals thinking they know better for a child than the parents or the doctor. (the latter is especially worrying.)
     
  15. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Nine years ago my daughter's new school told me that she couldn't keep her epipen and that it had to be in the nurses room.
    I told her not to tell anyone, but to keep one in her backpack.
    I then told the head of risk management that it was a stupid rule. I told her that by the time someone realized that my daughter was in distress and ran down to the nurses office, explained the situation, ran back to the room to give the epi-pen to my daughter, my daughter would be dead. The risk management head told me "I didn't say this, but go ahead and tell her to keep it in her backpack--but only tell one or two other people."

    Now, she has a form from the doctor that she is capable of self medicating.
     
  16. 6ertchr

    6ertchr Rookie

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    Many school districts in CA have a form that you can file if a child needs to carry his/her inhaler. The child's doctor has to complete the form and sign it. A new form must be filed every school year. Without this form, the nurse or front office must hold the inhaler.
     
  17. Emma's#1fan

    Emma's#1fan Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Hello!
    It's been a while since I have posted. Usually, I browse around looking for ideas.:)
    My daughter has a more serious form of asthma. This is one of the reasons why she is homeschooled. Her lungs are susceptible to many triggers and she also develops bronchitis as much as four times a year. Her doctor forgets that she is homeschooled and always writes out a letter for my daughter to be excused for three to four weeks. At this rate, she would miss almost half the school year.
    I believe all asthmatics, regardless of severity, should be able to carry an inhaler. Even if a person has a mild case of asthma, all attacks are not the same. Some people can have a severe attack once a year and still be considered to have a mild case. If the lungs close fast, like my daughter's, they may not have time to get to the office. Granted, this is not the norm but it does happen.
    Anyways, I just wanted to pop in to share my opinion. ;)
    Patty
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Aug 23, 2007

    I don't know about elsewhere, but here, asthmatics are allowed to carry their own inhalers. Another scary situation is the kid with deadly allergies. In that case, the teacher keeps an epi pen at the ready (but not in the student's possession).
     
  19. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Aug 24, 2007

    It works the same way here, only kids aren't allowed to have ANY meds, even cough drops, without a dr.'s prescription and a form on file in the nurse's office. And the nurse has to administer all of it. Fortunately, we are a small elementary school, and the nurse is within 100 yards of any classroom. If I had a child in such distress that I'd be fearful they wouldn't have enough time, I'd carry him/her to the nurse myself - running full speed. I have an assistant, so I could leave her in charge for a few minutes.
    Kim
     

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