Help make schools safer for children with asthma

Do you have a child with asthma aged 18 or under? We need their help!

Asthma UK wants to find out how easy it is for children and young people with asthma to get hold of their emergency reliever (blue) inhaler when they need it at school. We’re worried that some children might have problems getting to their inhalers at the moment and we want to know how big an issue it is. We want to hear from them whether they’ve had problems with their inhaler in school or not.

Please ask your child to fill in our survey to let us know what they think – it only takes five minutes and they could be helping to make their school a safer place for people with asthma.

We’ll be taking the results to MPs soon, so make sure you ask them to fill it in before 16 November!

10 Replies

  • Oh my goodness, this has come at the best time!

    My daughter has been REFUSED her inhaler TWICE in the last two days!

    I would do anything to improve safety for young asthmatics in schools so thank you for bringing this to our attention. Will do it right away.

  • Hi

    We have had bother in the past over inhalers, and school staff's lack of asthma awareness. But now I let the school have a spare inhaler in the sick bay and my son carries an inhaler at all times.

    We had two occasions when the sick room attendant left my son alone, whilst having an asthma attack, Needless to say I went nuts. Thought once was bad enough. On the second occasion my son had his mobile on him and phoned me to come and get him as he felt really ill, and was alone in sick bay again. Well we hit the roof again. And they said pupils are not allowed phones. So I said the day I can trust the school to care for my asthmatic son correctly, is the day when my son won't carry his phone to school.

    Things have improved. The school nurse, who is not based at the school went back in, and told them never to leave any child alone whilst having an asthma attack. (common sense) but needed reinforcing anyway.

    School rings straight away now if he is ill. But he still carries his phone in his bag anyway. ( you just never know) lol

  • can i just add that asthmatic staff can have problems in schools too?

    my current management team are AMAZING, but i've been in some less than supportive schools.


  • My experience

    I saw this post and it relates to me !

    I'm 15 and in year 11 at secondary school as I'm older I carry my inhaled around with me all the time as it's just easier. I do a lot of dance but i hardly cope and it takes me a long time to get back to my normal breathing rate. I recently went on a geography trip and my mum filled in all the forms saying I have asthma and what meds I take. We had to walk down and up a really steep hill and I was really struggeling when my teacher moaned at me because I was lagging behind I told her I had bad asthma and her face dropped a mile! When I got back to the top I had an attack and they didn't know what to do with me I calmed myself down after a while and I was ok after.

    I just thought it was really bad that they didn't know I had ashtama and they didn't know what to do with me when I was having an attack! Hope this gives another view from someone older.

  • My asthma in school experience comes from YEARS ago (i'm 32 now) but thought i might as well post about it, especially considering that this particular project is now closed as far as new entries go.

    In a PE lesson we were doing 400m/800m, can't remember which, stupidly i'd left my inhaler in the changing rooms (which had been locked when we went out onto the field / track). I finished the event but really had trouble breathing afterwards, at that point the PE teacher was aware but was more interested in shouting at me / giving me a lecture for leaving my inhaler rather than giving me the key to go and get it! She did eventually let me go back (with a friend) but i could've done without telling off - she should've left that till i was recovered!

  • I can add to the point about it not just being children, I have had other members of staff pass comment on whether I'm asthmatic or not (suggesting I'm having panic attacks which I'm clearly not) and leave me alone while I was having an attack. I think this is prone to happen to anyone who doesn't make a huge fuss of not feeling well as if you try to hide how bad it is people don't realise what's going on.

  • I wish I didn't feel stressed out when sending my children to school but after being let down it is hard to ever go back.

    My son was diagnosed aged 2 and it was a real worry when he started school as he didn't like to ask for his inhaler. We had a big talk with his teacher about his triggers and we were patted on the head and told not to worry, there were lots of asthmatics in school and they knew what they were doing.

    We thought our 6 year old daughter had escaped asthma until one day I picked her up from school and she was wheezing terribly and looked in a really bad way and finding it difficult to talk. I took her straight to the doctors where they gave her a nebuliser and inhalers to bring home but she continued to get worse, having 3 more nebulisers and then being admitted to hospital.

    Her 6 year old friends had been telling her she sounded like she was going to die but yet when she told her teachers they told her she'd be fine and to carry on with her work. A few days later I spoke to her teacher who told me the attack had come on really quickly which was a total lie as her friends had gone home telling their parents about how bad she sounded in class and she had had contact with at least 4 teachers that afternoon.

    Since then I have found it really hard to trust schools although she is now at a junior school and they seem really on the ball but I still worry as I know the office can be left unattended meaning no access to inhalers until an adult can be found so now both my two carry an inhaler and spacer in the bottom of their school bags and I don't care if the school don't like it as I am not risking them not being able to get to their medication if they need it.

    Sorry for the long post

  • school issues

    I have a 5 year old with severe asthma who whenever gets a slight cold or stressed, upset, inhalor is forgotton etc..ends up in hospital, the problem im having is school not taking it seriously, several chats to them all at school and still on 3 occasions they have not given her inhalor and she ended up in emegency. Normally if a certain teaching assistant there she gives my ds inhalor lunchtime, this is one step in right direction but she doesnt get it any other time unless i give them times which is not how asthma works, asthma chooses when to happen, and times it is forgotton, i know most schools have same policy that child supposed to ask, mine does not yet understand what is happening and when she needs it and feels she cant ask etc, its so frustrating

  • i cant say im not thinking about this as my daughter will be due to start nursery in september, she has well controlled asthma (i know we are lucky and that this can change)

    we have how ever found a really good take and leave play group that has a volunteer whos own child has asthma so we just explained how our daughters asthma presents its self and what inhaler she uses and that there is a card explaining every thing to do in her special bag with our contact number in there to. they have been really good as they are all volunteers and could quite easily turned us away

    one of the first questions we will ask the school we end up at is about there asthma policy and what training the staff have

  • My son has just turned 7. His last teacher was always fab with his inhaler, always took it on trips and into playground when doing PE. But his new teacher is deffinately not and don't even want to start about the dinner ladies. Last week during a particularly cold lunch play, he started coughing and wheezing he told the dinner lady he needed his inhaler. He was taken to his classroom and told to sit on his own whilst the dinner lady went and found his teacher, she located the inhaler on the top shelf in her cupboard. He has been doing the inhaler himself for a couple of years now but the dinner lady then decided to take him across the school to find a first aider and then let him have the inhaler ( which he did himself any way) whilst standing next to the first aider. Very cross and after a rant at the head teacher i was told he is far too young to be deciding when he needs medication and then shouldn't be giving it himself incase he over doses.

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