Your Child Is Allowed to Carry and Self-Administer an Inhaler at School

Asthma perceptions may need tweaking for years to come.

Schools like this British one don’t always get it right, and lack of awareness can contribute to ignoring or underestimating the danger of a child’s severe flare.


As of February 2010, South Dakota became the 50th and final state to pass laws allowing students to carry and use their own inhalers.

Research your state’s exact law and the school’s requirements – which must comply – to uncover the specifics. You may need to provide a physician’s note, for example, but every single state in this country gives your child the right to carry.

This is an important distinction.

Many schools *prefer* to keep inhalers locked up in the clinic along with other student medications, but your children are legally allowed to carry their own.

And it’s crucial that you recognize the difference between the two, because those longstanding school preferences? May mean your kids’ teachers do not. I’m basing that last sentence on an informal and non-scientific survey of educators among my family and friends, many of whom didn’t even know such right-to-carry laws existed.

If Your Children Are Ready:
Research your state requirements.
Fulfill those requirements.
Talk to your pediatricians, asthma specialists, and schools.

13 responses to “Your Child Is Allowed to Carry and Self-Administer an Inhaler at School”

  1. Sarah says:

    Awesome! I’m not sure if Canada has those right-to-carry laws yet… I know it didn’t when I was going through elementary and high school (but I always resolved that if it became an issue, I’d fight it in court if I had to).

  2. Sara C. says:

    I know that in my daughter’s school, they have to have permission from the doctor to carry. It isn’t prohibited, but if a child isn’t capable of administering their own inhaler, the doctor won’t sign off on it, and the inhaler has to stay in the nurses office.

    I know when I was in school, teachers turned a blind eye to students who carried inhalers. If they were “caught” using them, the only question they got was “are you ok…do you need to go to the nurse”

    I’m glad that kids are protected by law now…as not all schools are as understanding as mine was.

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