Schools granted permission for emergency inhalers

From 1st October, UK schools will be allowed to keep a salbutamol inhaler for use in emergencies when a child with asthma cannot access their own inhaler.

Asthma is the most common chronic condition; there are more than 25,000 emergency hospital admissions for asthma amongst children every year in the UK, and on average, there are two children with asthma in every classroom. 

Children with asthma should have their own reliever inhaler at school to treat symptoms and for use in the event of an attack. But a recent Asthma UK survey found that 86% of children with asthma have at some time been without an inhaler at school having forgotten, lost or broken it, or the inhaler having run out. 

In 2013 in response to this, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommended changes to legislation to enable schools to hold emergency salbutamol inhalers. A public consultation was held and there was overwhelming support for changing the regulations to allow schools to hold an emergency inhaler. 

The emergency inhaler can only be used by children who have been diagnosed with asthma and prescribed a reliever inhaler, and whose parents have been given permission for it to be used. 

Read our eight tips for managing life-threatening asthma here.

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