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Allergies Home Page arrow About Allergies arrow Children and Allergies arrow Are Students With Asthma and Allergies Ready to Self-Medicate?
Are Students With Asthma and Allergies Ready to Self-Medicate? PDF Print E-mail
Thanks to new state laws, many children head off to school this year with lifesaving inhalers and auto-injectable epinephrine tucked inside backpacks and purses – not locked away in school nurse or administrator offices. Thanks to new state laws, many children head off to school this year with lifesaving inhalers and auto-injectable epinephrine tucked inside backpacks and purses – not locked away in school nurse or administrator offices.

Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) worked with families, medical professionals and state and federal lawmakers to protect student access to lifesaving medications – first through federal law and then state legislation and educational efforts. AANMA's award-winning "Breathe: It’s the Law" campaign continues to help states and school systems incorporate asthma and anaphylaxis medications into classroom, playground and school environments.

When is a child ready to self-medicate? AANMA offers these tips for parents:

Asthma

  • Does your child use an inhaler (preferably with a holding chamber) correctly at home?

  • Does he know the name of his medication and when he is supposed to use it?

  • Does he stay calm when having asthma symptoms?

  • Does he tell you when he is having symptoms or when he has used the inhaler?

  • Does he use a peak flow meter?

  • Does your child carry his inhaler with him at all times?

  • Does he understand that the inhaler is not a toy and should not be shared with friends?

Anaphylaxis

  • Is your child able to use auto-injectable epinephrine correctly without assistance?

  • Does she know what to do immediately after using auto-injectable epinephrine? (The right answer is to tell an adult to take her to the hospital.)

  • Does she wear a medical identification tag or bracelet for use in emergency situations?

  • Does she understand that auto-injectable epinephrine is not a toy and should not be shared with friends?

"Yes" answers indicate a ready and willing student. "No" answers represent an opportunity to teach children new skills and bolster their confidence in making medical decisions. Not all students are ready to self-manage asthma or anaphylaxis at school.

For more back-to-school asthma and allergy tips, call AANMA at 800.878.4403.

AANMA News Release

 
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