Asthma UK community forum

Teacher will not allow 7 year old out of class to take reliever? What do I do?

My seven year old has just had a severe asthma attack ending up with her being in hospital overnight. She is now back at school with blue inhaler and spacer kept in the sick room.

I have been told by her friends that she has asked for her inhaler and been told to wait until the end of the lesson or go at break time.

Her last check up revealed she is probably not taking her inhaler enough. (they are changing her to a longer lasting preventer). How do I approach the school. The general attitude so far seems to be, if she is not 100% she should not be in! In which case unless things change she would never go in?

What do I do?

6 Replies

I had a similar experience years ago with my son at his school. They have a strict ""no drugs policy"" at school. Children aren't even allowed to have Tylenol with them. They also told us that if Don needed his inhaler that he shouldn't be at school. I had to really fight with the school administration to allow him to carry his inhaler with him. The school told us that they were not responsible for him if he got sicker at school after using his inhaler. I was shocked that they had that attitude. I tried to explain to each of his teachers that he needed his inhaler and that if he didn't get better that they should call me. Most of the teachers were good people and understood. It was just to get the administration to understand that was the problem.



Hi, We are very fortunate that my son's school are willing to do whatever it takes to enable Sean to go to school. He is on sub cut bricanyl every day at school, he carrys an inhaler on him and has spare inhaler/spacer/peakflow/needles/syringes/bricanyl in jections and epi pen in school ofice. He has a care plan written by Royal Brompton hosp and school nurses which is kept in office. There is a written protocol with his photo attached in the staff room so everyone knows about him.

Unfortunatly we had an episode last year that for some reason Sean didnt have inhaler in class so he asked to go to the office for inhaler, he was asked to wait, Sean said he waited half hour, the teacher said five mins. I very firmly pionted out to the teacher that Sean ended up in resus later that day so weather he waited five mins or 30 mins is irrelevant as he shouldnt have waited at all!

It has taken a while for everyone involved in sean's care to realise how unsafe the situation had become in school but now he has so many protocols and care plans in place. Many schools dont realise how dangerous asthma can be and how scary it is for a small child struggling to breath properly. Could you possibly get support from the asthma nurse and have a meeting at the school to make a clear plan?


Hi there, In response to your post i would like to say that i have had the same problem with my daughter who is now 11 and has had asthma since she was 1. Her school has constantly denied her self medicating and twice now i feel this has resulted in her having attacks as not only does this act not help the ailment it upsets the child and therefore can make the matter worse! I have had to repeatedly visit my daughters school and make it clear that if she is constantly refused then they can expect her not to be in school and also a formal complaint would be made by myself to the authorities. If i were you I would get up that school and insist on a meeting with the class teacher and the head of the school and make it quite clear your not happy with this situation...if necessary (if that doesnt seem to sink in) then i would take the matter further...after all once your child is on the premises and in school time the school has whats called 'parental situe', which basically is that they have taken on the responsibility of your child and that includes medically! (although they are not aloud by law to administer prescription medication, hence, my daughter self medicates) Of course if your child is bad enough they should call you but if it can be controlled with regular administering there shouldnt be a problem. Please do something about this because, i'm sure you will agree that, there is nothing more important than your childs health. Hope his helps. Lorrain


correct me if i'm wrong but i thought schools can give prescribed medication as long as consent forms are signed? I wasnt aware there was any law that would prevent this. I know for definate that pre schools are allowed to administer prescribed and covered by insurance as long as written letter by gp,consent by parent and staff training where ness.

Reading this thread has made me realise how very lucky we are to have a school that cares so much about my son.


HI Bernie

:Like Julie, my son has a sub-cut. We have never had any problmes with administering medication. The head of the primary school had a time table on his wall, because at times Aaron needed his nebuliser and inhalers every 2 hours! He always carried a peak flow and ventolin with him. They have even taken him away on residential trips and had training to draw up his medication and insert his needles!!

I cannot believe that a teacher would not let a child leave the classroom for essential medication, it is appauling.

He is now at secondary school and they have been very supportive, tho Aaron can administer his own medicaton now, the teachers and office staff have still had training.

Make an appointment to see your SENCO and school nurse and push for a care plan

Good luck!


Schools again!!!

Thanks I do need to deal with school, one week more and then a new teacher!!

this week they would not give her anti biotics which she has been prescribed on top of everything else, so I have had to go into the school each day to give to her. Inhalers kept in medical room, which is not always staffed!! and teachers are telling me that they are asking her if she can wait, and not telling her she cannot go and get her medicine, they say that if she says she cannot wait she can go down to medical and get them!. Seven year olds dont see it like that!!

Thanks for your responses, I am new to this and it is all a bit scary!


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