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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back to school with asthma

(Utah Department of Health Asthma Program)

It's the most wonderful time of the year.....I'm singing that Christmas song in my head. I remember watching a Staples commercial about shopping for back to school supplies. It was hilarious! The dad was gleefully dancing in the aisle and pushing the shopping cart. He would stop and throw school supplies in while his kids were giving him their best "I hate you" face.

So if you have school supplies and new clothes for your kids, you are all set, right?!

Well, not yet! You need to talk to your school nurse about filling out an Asthma Action Plan (AAP). You need a new AAP every year for your student. There are a lot of versions, most have green, yellow and red zones. Green means they are okay, yellow means caution and red means call 911.

The AAP tells the school nurse, teacher or classroom aid what to do if your student has an asthma attack at school. What medication to give, when to call for help, etc. You can also use it at home if you're not so sure what to do when they start coughing and wheezing! :)

Your doctor will need to fill it out the AAP and sign it, most schools require a new one every year (in case your child has new asthma triggers, new medications, etc.) Since we are at Asthma Doc's office EVERY week for allergy shots, we can just leave the AAP there for him to fill out. Then his office will fax it to our school nurse. 

Call your school nurse if you don't have one yet. I just realized my nurse hasn't mailed one yet this summer, and school starts for us next week! Our state also requires another form for the doctor to sign that legally allows our daughter to carry her inhaler with her at all times. Since all schools have zero tolerance for drugs, many were not allowing ANY medication in schools, even asthma inhalers! Scary! I don't want my daughter's inhaler locked up in the front office if she's out on the field playing soccer during PE and has an asthma attack.  It would take way too long to get someone across the campus to bring her inhaler. Minutes count when you have an asthma attack, students need to carry their inhaler at all times, just in case....

Allergy and Asthma Networks Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) says that it is legal in ALL 50 STATES for students to carry their inhaler with them at all times!  Most states also allow students to carry an Epi Pen if they need one.

Check with your school nurse to see what forms you need to fill out for allergies and asthma. After all, this is "the most wonderful time of the year!!!" Muhahaha!


  1. Utah does have an inhaler law that states that a child may carry and self-administer their asthma medication with a parent's permission and physician authorization. Here is a link that will point you to the Utah law as well as the Utah Self-Administration from and an Asthma Action Plan:

  2. Hi R Giles, thanks for stopping by and adding that. It's important that people know that EVERY state in the country allows kids to carry their inhaler with them AT ALL TIMES if they fill out the proper paperwork.

    The last thing you want is to have a child who needs their inhaler and it's locked up in the school nurse's office. The students are allowed to carry it if the doctor feels they are older enough and know how to use their inhaler by themselves!