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Primary Schools and Asthma

Hi there,

Just before I start, I just want to say I really don't want to annoy anyone or get anyone going with this post, I know lots of people have trouble with Asthma and schools.

As I've mentioned before I'm not a parent or carer myself but my boyfriend is doing a 4 year degree in primary teaching and soon he will be taking the full class for lessons. They are year one and two and so I think are between 5-7 (they have some sort of mixed class to do with ability rather than age I think). There are three Asthmatics in the class and only of them takes her inhaler in the day, she also has Eczema. Anyway he will be doing all the teaching and the teachers will be doing all the observing and he's a bit concerned as to what to do when the child has to have the creams/inhalers etc. Should he supervise them really closely? or try and give them independence? he doesn't want to get it wrong whilst he's being observed but he doesn't want to make a fuss for nothing because that in itself can panic and stress the kids.

From what he's said to me at the moment the child just takes her inhaler at the time she should on her own, but they can see her doing it. She's had it a while now and can generally cope (I think). But with the cream they stand with her and it's kept out of her reach etc. I think he's a bit worried that he doesn't know her like the teachers do and he won't really tell if she's struggling or not, whereas the teachers would because they know her properly.

I only got it when I was 17 (I'm nearly 19 now) and nobody else in either of our families have it so he's only dealt with me and with adults it's a bit different. I don't think it helps I've been struggling with mine recently either he's seen in me in some real states and he's probably frightened it will happen whilst he's in school, he's got to learn I suppose though.

Also he'd like to know anyway really for his future career as well as getting through his assessments (they are treated as exams and he has to pass them basically).

Are your children all supervised vigorously? or not supervised but ""watched"" to check they're ok? Which approach is best?

Thanks for any advice, and again please don't be offended or annoyed I know it must be frustrating when schools aren't interested.

Claire x

4 Replies

Firstly, I think its great that he has given this so much thought. When my eldest was younger, he would go to the school office and do his. That it where they were kept. He had a spacer and ventolin and would do it himself with the office staff there. They didn't need to help him but would keep an eye that he took the right amount of puffs, or incase the end came off his spacer or anything silly.

I think most primary schools keep medicines in the office rather than the class.

Its likely that the child will know the signs, but if he is concerned about this he should really ask the person in charge and see what usually happens. They will not let the child struggle if he has missed the signs


Having done teacher training I can see why he is concerned, most schools now are not allowed to give medications and they schoold should have a protocol in place for how the medications are stored/ etc. All he needs to do is ask the usual class teacher what happens regarding medication and they should be able to guide him as to what happens.

My daughters meds are kept on a shelf in the class and the teacher just hands her the bag when she needs it and she does it all herself, then hands the bag back. This is in a year 2 class so 6/7 year olds.



I would very much doubt that anything to do with the children with health conditions such as asthma etc will be held against him! He needs to ask for the school policy...speak to the person who is in charge of first aid/sickness etc also for the correct protocol to be followed also!

I would also ask to be ""coached"" on an occasion or two with the dealing of the inhaler/cream etc, so that any advice that needs to be given will be given then rather than later and it taken more personally!

Generally children who have illnesses/conditions manage them far better at school than most people realise - certainly many appear to be less ""sytresses"" by i all than most adults!

Some of our children ahve their meds in class depending on circumstances, some elsewhere...there's no hard and fast rule...

My advice to him is listen to the child - they will usually tell you quite quickly if a aproblem - then remain calm but inform the next person in the chain immediately so that it can be dealt with swiftly - this approach would demostrate that he is a good teacher, yet recognising when he needs to have assistance...

Hope he enjoys it...

The kids are heavenly - the pay awful and politics even worse lol!



Hi all,

Thanks for your replies. Chris (the boyfriend) has done some of his teaching now and has had his first observations. It went well and nothing happened regarding the child's Asthma/Eczema. He just had to ask her had she taken her medicine, and she replied no, he passed her the inhaler and spacer from the shelf. Checked nothing went wrong and the right amount of puffs were taken and that was that. Then she put the cream on whilst being supervised by the teaching assistant whilst he carried on so the rest of the class didn't get bored/agitated which is normal practice for that school. I think it has just helped him feel more confident and he's got a copy of the child's personal action plan if anything does ever happen as well for his own reference and the school have at least one copy.

I think it was just his nerves but he's getting on fine and enjoying it. He's off to Skipton Castle with them tomorrow!!

Trouble is now he doesn't stop nagging me about taking all my meds at the right times!! lol

Take Care

Claire xx


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