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Did she have the right????

hi i wonder if anyone can help me .

i was told last year my son had Asthma which isnt too bad at the moment but when he gets a cold he becomes quiet chesty as you do so i have been told by our doctor that he needs to take his pump up to 4 times a day when needed.

My son is 6 years old and at full time school i have told him and his teacher that he needs to take his pump after lunch ...

But what do you do when he comes home and tells you ""the teacher said i didnt need it so she didnt give it too me""

Do you think the teacher was right to do this or should she have listened to my son !!

Please tell me what you think ....

19 Replies

i can see both the teachers and your little boys voints of view and as your doc said up to 4 times a day when needed if he didnt need it then e shouldnt have it but who is his teacher to know when he needs it?


i understand what you are saying but i have been only been giving his pump to him twice a day once in the morning which when he is bad and i have noticed that when he runs around he gets quiet breathless that is why i have told him to take it after lunch or at last play.. so i believe she didnt have the right to say this and it hasnt just been my child but others at the school too


I agree with you, the teacher should listen to your son. After all he is the only one who knows how he really feels and I think that at the age of 6 he is old enough to know when he doesnt feel right.

As for the teacher I would ring up and talk to her or if possible make an appointment to see her. It is probably a misunderstanding on her part. It might help if you could get a letter of your sons gp, asthma nurse or consultant to explain things. Another thing that might help is if your son has a 'what to do in an asthma attack' card from auk. They can be downloaded / ordered from somewhere on this site. I am not quite sure where as I was given mine by my asthma nurse.

I know how frustrating it can be when teachers don't listen to you. I am 17 and in year 13 (my final year) at school. I look after my own inhaler in school and I decide when I need it (or my friends tell me I need it!) However recently I have had a few bad attacks in school where I have been sent out of the lesson (especially chemistry) on my own and then sent home on the bus on my own. I find attacks like this scary and to be on your own just makes things worse as I panick. This might not be the same with your son but if he thinks he needs his meds and they are being denied from him, he may also panick making things worse for him.

In my case, my mum phoned the school and explained things to them and since then they have been much better in deling with my asthma. For example when I leave the room now a friend is always allowed to come with me and they know when a first aider needs to be called. Another misconception that my teachers had which may be the same with your son, is that they didn't realise that there is no limit to the amount of reliever you can take. This might be why the teacher isn't giving your son is inhaler? But at the end of the day the teacher should go with whta you and your son tell her, after all you know best.

Sorry this has turned into a bit of an essay! Let me know how you get on and feel free to send me a private message if you need any more advice or support.


steph xx


Ive just asked my mum about this as she used to be a teacher and she said that in this instant it would be best to speak to the head teacher to make sure that they understand and that they can ensure it doesnt happen again!


Hello Vicksticks,

You must arrange an appointment to see your child's teacher and headteacher to explain your doc's protocol re medication and how often your son should need to take this medication. Even at the age of six, - and I remember this age when suffering from asthma - a child knows whether or not he/she needs medicine to control symptoms. All credit to your son for asking. As a parent who can't always be there, the teachers act in 'loco parentis', and you can't really blame them for not understanding how much your child must be suffering if they don't hve an understanding of asthma.

So it's up to you to act as a go between concerning information and support.

I know that when one of my sons suffered from asthma at a similar age I had to go and explain things calmly to his junior school teacher, -and I was a secondary school teacher at that time. Didn't make it any easier though!

So please go and talk to your son's teachers. It will make a big difference.



although the teacher is looking out for the best intersts of your son, she still had no right to deny your son the medication he needs, maybe it might be prudent to arrange it with the school that he carrys his medication with him, as to prevent further misunderstandings.

i am 18 and i carry my inhaler in my pocket and dont let others near it unless its nessisary.


Would it be helpful if you asked the doctor to write it down for the teacher? I don't remember much about infant school but i know i had my inhaler in the school office in the junior school and was given it when i asked without any problems but i did have a rotacap inhaler, so could only take it if i had enough caps in there, which my mum had control over.

I'm sure it will all work out ok if u sit down with teacher and head teacher and explain it to them.

Good luck



From a Teacher's point of view! (Sus appears from the woodwork!)

This made me so mad to read that a poor defenseless 6 year old with more than an average need for medication was treated in this way.

It highlights how we have got to get it across that taking a Ventolin inhaler in the classroom is an entirely different kettle of fish from needing a headache tablet, which incidentally, a child would not be allowed to keep in his/her pocket.

But- my point is would the Teacher have denied an epipen to a child suffering an allergic reaction?

Doesn't bare thinking about.

PRN or QDS-if the GP says a certain number of doses, then they have to be given. I have often had a child go down to the Welfare mid lesson for administration of a routine dose of some drug or other when poorly-particularly the ADT lot who need midday medication which falls mid lesson

A meeting needs to be set up between Parent, child, teacher in question, school Head and Welfare Assistant. That, I feel, with all this Government red tape is the only way you are going to get it across that your Son needs his puffer to be kept on his person, and knows when and how to use it correctly and maturely.

From my Teacher's point of view-I let a child use an inhaler and call for Welfare afterwards. I know from experience that seconds are vital in an attack. They see me use mine enough-one rule for everybody in this case, me thinks!

As we know from our friends here-not all asthmatics wheeze and a child can be very tight without sounding audibly so.

But I also know it causes all sorts of problems if children are sent in with inhalers and the school has not been notified, or a protocol for use or letter from GP etc is not documented.

I teach/taught! in Secondary school and yes, unfortunately kids do muck around with each other's drugs so we have to have plans implemented as imagine if it was a pot of anti biotics or paracetamol.

But that Teacher needs a formal letter of complaint made against her. Was she medically qualified to deny your Son his puffer, I ask myself?


thanks for all your support and information im going to talk to my son children this morning as well as the head i have already explained this once to the teacher .. My son isnt aload to keep his pump on him and that the teacher has it he dosent ask for it all the time he migt be only 6 but he is a smart kid and knows when he needs his pump and how to use it properly ..

And as one of you said its not that he can o.d on it because its compleatly safe however much he takes ... my asthma cards came in the post yesterday and he will keep one on him all the time now ... but its also worry as for i have a 4 year old in the same school who also suffers asthma it makes you think will they do the same to him???

i will let you know how it goes with the teacher thank again


A question that perhaps one of the teachers can answer...

Why isn't he allowed to keep his inhaler on him?

This just strikes me as a very strange ""regulation"", if indeed it even is one!


I am a children's repiratory nurse specialist for a very large geographical area & I have found that in all schools I have dealt with are reluctant to allow any child to have any medication on them at infant & junior schools. They are worried that other children will get hold of them. Once they get to senior school it is the opposite.. they don't want to know. I would prefer it that any of my patients are supervised when taking their reliever as the adult may think they are more poorly than the child but as many of you have said the teachers are not nurses & they need to be informed. I speak to schools of my patient but not every child has access to one of me. So enlist the help of the school nurse (yes every school does have one, they may not be in the school but you can ask for the number to call them) & discuss the schools asthma policy as well as your own child's needs.



hi ann thankyou for that information and i will make an appointment with the school nurse and find out more ...

And for my son his teacher wasnt in today so i spoke to the head and she said she could not comment on that but did offer to keep his pump in the school office and that he go and see her when he needs it

thankyou for all your advice and you have been really helpful


Surely if the inhaler is kept in the school office it is still too far away from your son to be useful?

The inhaler - if it can't be kept by your son - should be kept by his teacher (or at the very least in his classroom) and his teacher should be informed that she is to give it to him whenever he asks for it. Unless she has medical qualifications (!) I don't see that there's any other way to deal with this. Definitely more education amongst school staff is needed.

Perhaps an Asthma UK leaflet should be drafted to be sent to schools?


I had the same reaction by a member of staff at my school. The teacher said i had taken my inhaler too much and insisted i sit near her desk with the door to the playground wide open and it was blowing gales outside. I was admitted to hospital that evening and my parents went absolutely mental when the found out what she had said. Needless to say she never tried it again, but they tought me that if one teacher said no to go straight to the headmaster and tell him as his office was home for my inhaler. I agree that inhalers need to be kept in the office or with the teacher, this began at my school after one child got hold of another ones and took so much they had palpitations, so it is a necessary thing. But i never had a problem and the headmaster and the admin staff were very used to me coming and going as needed. At times i even had nebulisers in there!!

Maybe you need to speak to the head and arrange something like this, afterall they can overrule any member of staff??

Senior school was a different matter, i went to a public school so they had a nurse on site 24/7. But the minute she was told that they were having such a severe asthmatic join them she arranged for a series of talks to all the staff, including them being tought what to do in an emergency. She made it possible for me to enjoy senior school, and when one pe teacher didn't follow what shed been tought all teachers were yanked in for a top up talk and the pe staff were given a weeks worth of talks. So not all schools are bad about asthma management.


i had to teach my collage tutours myself about how to look after me.

but in some respects i agree with the idea of the child not having his pump at school cos of other children but at the same time it was still wrong and ignorant of the teacher to deny access.

is it possible that schools and collages need more education on asthma?


im not dispurting the fact that the teachers at his school have his pump if any thing i think that is a good idea because that way i know it will not be miss used but i dont like the idea that a teacher has refused him it when it is needed he only has mild asthma buts thats not the point as most of you know when your unwell the asthma plays up more and the annoying thing is its not just my child its others too

it makes you think twice is your child safe at school when it comes to their health....


I am a teacher and also a bad asthmatic. My pupils carry their reliever inhalers in bum bags around their waist and the reliever inhalers stay with the child all the time. None of the other pupils are allowed to open the bum bags and they seem to respect this. Primary aged children are alot more mature than we realize. With asthma, children have not got time to come in from the playground, try and find a teacher, wait for the medical room to be unlocked etc etc, whilst having an asthma attack. Also, they then might have to repeat the process 5 minutes later if they need to go back for another puff. I think this makes pupils more reluctant to take their medication. If it is in their own bum bag, they can do it quickly themselves and then get on with playtime.

I appreciate that other medications should be kept locked away but in my school I have convinced all staff and parents that reliever inhaler stay with the child in their own bum bag. It's also much simpler for teacher's aswell as there is no searching for various inhalers during breaks and lunchtime. You know where every childs inhaler will be.

Hope this helps. I have been teaching a while and I do not know of a policy which says that all medication has to be kept from the child. With reliever medication, I believe that pupils should never have to find someone to ask for it.


i am asuming lke myself that this teacher has some form of education degree or a subject degree plus a PGCE. i do not recall in my training becoming an asthma nurse or a doctor. i honestly thought i was qualified as a teacher. She had no right what so ever. i am asthmatic and have three asthmatic children. Despite all this experience i would never dream of interfering with a child's advice from his doctor. One thing might help (of course you may have done this on this occassion) is to write a short note when your child's asthma gets worse to the teacher. Mine is just a set of instructions and times as to when he either needs to go to the office for medication or when he needs to get his inhaler. at primary school i also make a point of seeing my children's new teacher at the end of the summer term to make sure they understand my children's medical needs beofre september. i follow this through with a letter when the new term starts.

i hope she has more sense now and that your child is better


thank you for all your surport.. my son is alot better now and i had a talk with the head .. his pump is now kept in the school office and when he needs it he goes to there to see the head .. she has spoken to his teacher and things have ben sorted out now .. i orderd a school asthma card for my son which the school has now and he now carrys a asthma card with him at all time

thank again for all your help :0)


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