Published on April 28th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Asthma Inhalers Now Banned in Some Schools
Zero-tolerance policies are generally a stupid idea, and ones against illicit drugs may be keeping children in American schools a dangerous distance from their asthma inhalers and epinephrine pens.
Although there are provisions in all but two states for children to have the potentially life-saving medications on their persons at all times, some schools are prohibiting the medications due to policies enacted to keep recreational drugs out of schools. Maureen George is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia, and George explains that inconsistent policy surrounding asthma inhalers and epi pens could be harmful to children:
“Every school district handles this a little bit different, and for those who don’t allow children to carry their medications, I think may be due to a lack of knowledge. School officials may not appreciate the risk that having epinephrine pens and inhalers in a locked office, instead of with the child, can pose.”
“Fewer than 200 children die each year from asthma in the U.S. That number is low, but those deaths are preventable. And it’s a double tragedy when you lose a child to a preventable condition. And, some of those deaths happen in schools.”
George recommends checking with schools to ensure there is not a policy in place prohibiting the possession of asthma inhalers, and possibly enlisting the school nurse to advocate for a child with asthma or severe allergies.